On Friday 9 April 2010 the Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Mr Brian Moore, was presented with a unique piece of art made by local young people as part of a SPLASH project.
SPLASH (Schools and Police Liaison Activities for School Holidays) is an independent charity supported by Wiltshire Police which gives young people aged 9 to 16 years opportunities to engage in positive, safe, recreational pursuits in school holidays in the interests of welfare, crime prevention and social development.
The activities provided are largely determined by the young people themselves and have previously included activities as diverse as cooking, drama workshops and extreme sports.
On this occasion, several young people took part in a two day scrap art challenge, led by a local artist and funded through Swaythling Housing Association, the Amesbury Area Board and SPLASH.
Using materials obtained from the Scrapstore the youngsters produced three different and very unique pieces of art entitled The Scream, The Sunflower and Marilyn.
Having taken a particular liking to The Sunflower, Mr Moore awarded the three youngsters who produced it with Special Achievement Certificates and donated £200 to the charity.
He was presented with the artwork at The Cause Music and Arts Centre in Chippenham, while fifteen other young people took part in a similar project.
Mr Moore said: “Wiltshire Police fully support the excellent work that SPLASH do and the young people who took part in this project should be commended for the hard work and enthusiasm that went in to producing these three unique, intricate pieces of art.
Although I was impressed by all three pieces, The Sunflower in particular caught my attention as it reminded me of a book written by Simon Wiesenthal which is also called The Sunflower.
Simon Wiesenthal was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp who was asked for forgiveness by a dying Nazi soldier. Simon has been honoured internationally for his work in identifying Nazi war criminals and the book discusses the possibility and limits of forgiveness.
His determination and tenacity in bringing criminals to justice has been a source of great inspiration to me in my policing career. The Sunflower will therefore take pride of place in my office at Police Headquarters in Devizes and will no doubt spark some interesting discussions with visitors.”
Jayne Moverley, Manager of SPLASH and other youth projects in the county, said: “It does not surprise me that Mr Moore was inspired by this piece of art work. It is a particularly impressive piece, and certainly worthy of acknowledgment.
SPLASH strives to introduce young people to new and stimulating activities, constantly looking to inspire and always trying to stretch the imagination. We are regularly amazed at what young people on our projects achieve in both new skills and approaches to life.
I am delighted that Mr Moore was moved by this piece of art and particularly pleased that he felt it appropriate to acknowledge our ‘young artists’.”