I came across this art installation by chance when browsing the internet for new art pieces that were making a statement at the moment.
When first exploring this piece I found it almost mesmerizing. The sheer amount of poppies covering the moat of the Tower of London was just incredible, it was breathtaking and I had only seen it in a photo. After doing some research I found out that the installation is called Blood swept lands and seas of red, and incorporates 888,246 ceramic poppies, for each British military fatality during the First World War. The minds behind this installation are Ceramist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper. I found out Paul’s inspiration came from a will of a soldier who came from Derbyshire and enrolled when war broke out. He wrote ‘The Blood Swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread.’ when knowing that the soldiers around him were dead and he was surrounded by blood. Unfortuantly this man died on Flanders Field in Belguim.
The installation aims to be a location to invite people to personally reflect. The size of the installation also intends to “reflect the magnitude of such an important centenary creating a powerful visual commemoration.”(1)
This installation is really thought provoking and the way it has been installed is very realistic especially seen from the air. The poppy is a simple yet recognizable reminder of the men that lost their lives during the First World War. The way it has been set up and created has taken a lot of delicate craftsmanship which is portrayed in the video for Paul Cummins ceramics filmed by the BBC (2).I found this video interesting because it helped me understand further the processes and work that is put in to create a project as massive as this! Each person has their own important roll and the teamwork that is put in by both employees and volunteers is just phenomenal. One day I would love to work on a project of the same scale!