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Rochdale unveils dramatic artwork based on town’s Cenotaph

Press release   •   Oct 31, 2014 14:48 GMT

A unique piece of innovative artwork will be unveiled in Rochdale on Remembrance Sunday, as part of the boroughs World War One Centenary commemorations.

The installation focusses on the unknown soldier on top of the Rochdale Cenotaph and is the work of local artist John Cooke.

Council Leader Richard Farnell said:

“We are pleased to support this project which has provided a very thought provoking angle on a significant and important local landmark.  It will certainly stimulate discussion and debate as the Cenotaph is seen from a new perspective.”

John Cooke said: “The British solider on top of the cenotaph cannot be clearly seen but this project has made it possible.”

Commissioned by Rochdale Township and produced in association with ‘All Across The Arts,’ John used an aerial photograph as the base of his work which he then digitally manipulated in his studio and further treated before it was laid over an art work. The completed 6ft x 4ft wide piece, complimented by two more of John’s original canvases, will form a portable arts installation available to community groups and schools in the borough for classroom art workshops, creative writing sessions or drama groups with a World War theme.

‘The Cenotaph: A 21st Century Viewpoint’ will be unveiled to the public for the first time in Rochdale Town Hall after the Remembrance Sunday Service on 9 November.

Rochdale Cenotaph, unveiled in 1922 was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who was also responsible for the Cenotaph in London. It is 32 feet high and topped with a sarcophagus bearing the figure of the unknown soldier.

For details of Remembrance Services across the borough visit

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