Work in progress > Polish Garden of Peace, 2020
The Monument to Polish volunteers in Neuville-Saint-Vaast commemorates the commitment of Polish soldiers alongside the French Army during the Great War. From 1914, there were 2000 Polish volunteers who fight with France, and, in 1917, the President Poincaré authorized the creation of a Polish Army in France. It was commonly called the Blue Horizon Army, because of the blue uniforms worn by soldiers. The Polish Garden of Peace designed by Aleksandra Gierko is inspired by this Blue Army to offer a place of reflection to pay tribute to Polish soldiers. Composed of hills and channels, the garden is a cocoon of greenery and silence with leakage paths opening towards the horizon, with relief punctuations that echo the shape of the caps of the Polish Army. In the center of the garden are positionned three white concrete benchees on which are inscribed in different languages “plus jamais, nigdy więcej, never again…”. As for the vegetation, it evokes the traditional Polish landscape and punctuates the route with symbols: lime trees, emblematic tree of the literary and artistic culture of Poland, the blueberries echoing the color of the soldiers’ uniforms and the poppy in the rememberance of the First World War. The garden is thus offers to walkers as a narrative and peaceful space, a place of resilience between past, present and future.