To mark the centenary of the World War I Battle of Passchendaele, Belgian tourism agency Visitflanders has unveiled an installation of a soldier crafted from mud outside London's National Gallery.
The "Mud Soldier," crafted with sand mixed with mud from Passchendaele, Flanders Fields, Belgium, and is designed to evoke the terrible conditions endured by soldiers in the trenches at the battle. Due to persistent heavy rain that fell at the time, soldiers battled in thick sludge-like mud. The temporary sculpture is displayed on the North Terrace of London's Trafalgar Square for just four days and will slowly dissolve as it's exposed to rain (of which there is plenty in London at present.)
The installation was created by Ogilvy & Social Lab Belgium, with young artist Damian van der Velden,a a graduate of the Royal Academy of Arts of the Hague, making the sculpture.
Andrew Daines, Director of Visitflanders U.K. and Ireland said in a statement: "We hope that this art installation will inspire the visiting public to think about this milestone year in the Centenary of one of the First World War's most horrific battles."