Poppies on tour

Posted on by Beyond Bespoke

If you missed the iconic poppy installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, at the Tower of London, where 888,246 poppies were displayed to honour every death in the British and Colonial forces of the First World War, you will be pleased to hear that the poppies are set to go on a UK-wide tour, starting with Wave at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, from September 2015 to early January 2016.

Peter Murray CBE, Founding & Executive Director, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, says: “We’re very pleased to help extend the life and impact of Wave by offering a completely different setting for the public to enjoy this iconic work.

“The sculpture will rise from Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s historic lake, surrounded by 500 acres of stunning Yorkshire countryside and woodland. The calmness and nature of the Park will offer visitors an ideal space for contemplation and reflection.”

The poppies installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, in the dry moat of the Tower of London marks 100 years since the start of the First World War. Volunteers will continue to plant 888,246 ceramic poppies the moat, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the First World War. The last one will be planted on Armistice Day, 11th November 2014.©Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces
©Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces

Secretary of State, John Whittingdale, added: “It is fantastic that there will be new ceramic poppy installations in different parts of the country. This is art at its most powerful and it is only right that everyone should have the chance to see them. The London installation had a huge impact on all those who saw it and the new installations will do the same. This is an another important opportunity for us to remember and pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the First World War.”

As part of the tour, the installation known as Weeping Window can be seen at Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland from September to October 2015 and at St George’s Hall, Liverpool from November 2015 to January 2016.

The two poppy sculptures being presented across the UK, together totalling more than 10,000 poppies, have been saved for the nation by the Backstage Trust and the Clore Duffield Foundation, and gifted to 14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums. Financial support for the presentations has been received from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and fundraising for the presentations is ongoing.

Wave is presented in Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s historic Lower Lake, a 1km walk from the main visitor centre and car park. Nearby surroundings include sculptures by world-class artists Anthony Caro, Antony Gormley and Julian Opie, alongside heritage features such as the Bretton Estate’s grand mansion house and the historic Cascade Bridge. 

In 2015 the sculptures will be exhibited at:

Wave, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
September 2015 – early January 2016

Weeping Window, Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland
Mid-September – late October 2015

Weeping Window, St George’s Hall, Liverpool
November 2015 – January 2016

For the remainder of the 14-18 NOW programme, Wave and Weeping Window will be on view at selected locations around the United Kingdom. They will be gifted to the Imperial War Museums and displayed during the autumn of 2018 at IWM North and IWM London.

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