The iconic hand-crafted ceramic sculptures have returned to IWM North as a brand-new artwork, Poppies.
Re-imagined into a new sculptural form, Poppies, cascade down and pool within the unique architecture of IWM North’s Air Shard, combining the pieces from the 2018 artworks Poppies: Wave and Weeping Window.
The poppy sculptures were conceived by ceramic artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper.
They now form part of IWM’s collection. In their new permanent home in Manchester, you can reconnect with the poppies as both a contemporary artwork and as a means to reflect on the way war shapes lives.
Poppies were a familiar sight on the battlefields of the Western Front, where they thrived in the devastated landscape. Some soldiers even sent pressed poppies home in letters.
But when did this tradition start? What is it about the poppy that captured the public imagination so profoundly? And why do some people see the poppy as a controversial symbol?
First World War Curator Laura Clouting tells us about the history of the poppy.
Poppies: Wave and Weeping Window travelled around the UK between 2014 and 2018 concluding at IWM London and IWM North.
Originally part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, they became part of a national cultural programme to mark the First World War centenary, toured by 14-18 NOW.
The poppies were hand crafted from clay by a team of over 300 people. Over four months volunteers installed 888,246 poppies at the Tower of London. Each sculpted flower represented a life lost from Britain and its Empire in the First World War.
The installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red'. Poppies and original concept: Paul Cummins. Installation design: Tom Piper. By Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces at HM Tower of London 2014.
'Poppies: Wave and Weeping Window' were purchased for the nation by The Clore Duffield Foundation and Lady Susie Sainsbury’s Backstage Trust in 2014 and were donated to IWM’s permanent collection in 2018.