Tuesday 18 November 2014

Tower of London’s poppy tribute

The Tower of London art installation entitled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Redby artist Paul Cummins was created to commemorate 100 years since the start of World War 1.

The work consists of 888,246 ceramic poppies each of which represents a fallen soldier in the Great War and will be on display until the end of November when approximately approximately 8,000 volunteers will dismantle it.

Tribute to the fallen

Across the internet and news channels, companies like McCarthy & Stone have been reporting on how the Tower of London Remembers and  how the artwork is one of the most popular public art installations ever to be seen in the capital.

Once the piece has been dismantled, it will continue its journey around the UK until parts of the installation reaches its permanent homes in the Imperial War Museums in both London and Manchester.

The title of the piece comes from a moving part of a Will written by a dead WW1 serviceman: “the blood swept lands and seas of red where angels fear to tread”.

The installation has already received 5 million visitors, and this number is set to grow.

A moving art work

This year is the centenary of the start of World War 1 and the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings in 1944. With war on many people’s minds, the last British forces leaving Afghanistan, hostilities in Ukraine and uncertainty in Syria and Iraq, the annual remembrance anniversary has commanded more support than ever before.

The National Gallery was another site in London where many flocked to observe the traditional two-minute silence, of the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month.

13-year-old schoolboy cadet, Harry Hayes laid the final poppy at the Tower of London work. His Great Great Great Uncle died in France during the 1st World War.

The importance of remembrance in London

London is already home to the Cenotaph and other Great War memorials, but the installation at the Tower has focussed the thoughts of the world on the war that was supposed to end all wars.

The poppies were sold for £25.00 each and the money raised will go to help service charities including the British Legion. The BBC suggests that the sales could raise £15 million overall.

Poppies are used to symbolise the remembrance of the victims of war as they grew in abundance across the battlefields of Flanders. As spectators in London remembered the dead on the 11 November, poppy petals were showered on the heads of mourners at the Belgium based Menin gate.

Both young and old have paid tribute this November to the sacrifice made by the many young people during the Great War.


Mike@Bit About Britain said...

A good summary for everyone.

Billy Blue Eyes said...

I was glad I went along to see it even though the crowds were heavy

Sharon said...

I have seen many photos of this installation on various blogs and on Flickr. What an impactful memorial. I wish I could have seen it in person.

Babzy.B said...

A great installation ! :)

Luis Gomez said...

Thank you for all the info! Beautiful post.

Katharine A said...

This was such a great art installation that captured the public's imagination. It was so good to see the public get behind it. Thanks for sharing.

William Kendall said...

From the reactions I've seen to it in various posts and news items, it's an installation that has really spoken to people.

Jack said...

This poppy installation has received a lot of attention on this side of the pond. I hope they consider extending it. It seems too important to remove so soon.

Gunn said...

It is fantastic!
I wish I could have bought just ONE of them.
It has been in the news here in Norway too:)

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