Poppy Sculptures: First World War Centenary Installations Go National

The UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary, is inviting expressions of interest from locations across the country to host the iconic poppy sculptures Wave and Weeping Window in 2017.

Over 800,000 people have already seen the sculptures on tour at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland, and St George’s Hall in Liverpool. The ceramic poppies will continue to tour the UK until the autumn of 2018 to give even more people the chance to experience the impact of the sculptures in a range of places of particular First World War resonance.

Wave and Weeping Window are from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – poppies and original concept 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 grass below. Wave is the curling swathe of poppies that rises up to create an arch.

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. DAF Trucks are the transport sponsor for the UK presentations.

A number of criteria will be considered in choosing the locations, including ability to provide free access to view the work, the appropriate space to install the sculptures, and relevant resonance with the heritage of the First World War.

The locations for the presentations across the UK will be chosen by a panel of judges, which will include the artist Paul Cummins; designer Tom Piper; Director of 14-18 NOW, Jenny Waldman; Ade Adepitan; and Director-General of Imperial War Museums, Diane Lees.

The panel will consult with Historic Royal Palaces and other stakeholders in making their decision.

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