The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland and St George’s Hall Liverpool have been announced as locations that will present the poppy sculptures Wave and Weeping Window in 2015. The new presentations will give people across the UK the chance to experience the impact of the ceramic poppy sculptures in a range of places of particular First World War resonance.
“The panel said that they were impressed by the site proposed within Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which has 500 acres of parkland and five world class galleries. WW1 affected many communities across Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Regiment raised 24 Battalions served by 65,000 men, of whom 9,000 died.
Woodhorn Colliery played an important part in the war effort, not only for coal production, but also supplying skilled miners for the front. From a workforce of over 9,000, nearly 2,500 were serving in the armed forces by 1917. Woodhorn Museum proposed a striking site within this colliery heritage site and contemporary museum, home of the Pitman Painters and the Northumberland Archives.
St George’s Hall, Liverpool was used during WW1 to hold recruitment rallies with speakers including Lord Derby and Lord Kitchener who appealed for 100,000 men to sign up in ‘Pals battalions’. Kitchener returned to Liverpool in March 1915 to inspect nine Battalions on the Plateau outside the Hall. The proposed site is both visually compelling and easily accessible within the city.”
Wave and Weeping Window are from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – poppies and original concept created by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. The installation was originally at HM Tower of London from August to November 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one to honour every death in the British and Colonial forces of the First World War. Weeping Window is the cascade of poppies that was seen pouring out of a high window down to the grassed moat below. Wave is a curling swathe of poppies which rose up to create an arch over the entrance to the Tower.
The two sculptures, which together have over 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.
Venues to host the poppies in 2016 will be announced in September 2015. Expressions of interest to present the poppies in 2017 and 2018 will open in 2016.
Photo: Via Twitter