Artist tells story of first Zeppelin raid on Bury St Edmunds, which killed a dog, with new display at Moyse’s Hall Museum

Sara Muzira’s mixed-media work, entitled ‘April 30th, 1915,’ is now on display at Moyse’s Hall Museu

Sara Muziras mixed-media work, entitled April 30th, 1915, is now on display at Moyses Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Christopher Morris

A Bury St Edmunds artist is helping to tell the story of the first Zeppelin raid in the town during the First World War with her latest work.

The airship raid on April 30, 1915, which killed a dog, was Bury’s introduction to the reality of war, and was a precursor to a more deadly attack a year later.

Sara Muzira’s powerful mixed-media work, entitled ‘April 30th, 1915,’ is now on display at Moyse’s Hall Museum in the town and marks a new direction in her career as she works alongside museums to help interpret exhibits through contemporary art.

Moyse’s Hall is currently running its latest First World War exhibition which also includes an interactive project, called Pot Luck, which tells the stories of 20 local individuals and their lives during the conflict.

The new artwork is on display in the main hall and tells the emotional and moving story of how people got through the first Zeppelin raid on the town, in which many buildings were destroyed.

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Ms Muzira said: “Through the work, I wanted to capture the intensity of the raid and bombing and the range of reactions and emotions from anxiety, horror and shock, to despair and perhaps even a sense of terrified excitement for such a small town as Bury St Edmunds.

“By studying the history of the raid, looking through old photographs and being moved by images of modern-day warfare, I wanted to show how people survive such an atrocity, the strength and hopefulness of the human spirit in the aftermath, as people put their lives back together. Moyse’s Hall itself was also an inspiration and is represented in the work as the building stood strong throughout the raid, preserving its 900-year history, and the staff within would have witnessed first-hand the destruction and chaos in the centre of the town.”

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The spirit of the dog that died is represented in the piece, its soul rising through the air.

The artwork sits next to a 1915 Zeppelin bomb recovered in the town after the raid and a local newspaper story telling of the destruction.

Lance Alexander, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s heritage operations manager, said: “Exhibits need explanation and historical notes so to have someone look and interpret our collections through an artist’s eyes is something special, and especially through the eyes of such a talented artist as Sara.”

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