A Sea of Red Ceramic Poppies Flows from the Tower of London Honours Britain’s WW1 Dead
I was fortunate to see this beautiful art installation on my trip home to London. The red ceramic poppies are a commemoration of the first 100 days of Britain’s entry into World War 1 and the British and British Colonies soldiers who fell in the war. When I first saw it, at the Tower of London I was actually standing on Tower Bridge. I could see into the Tower of London Moat from Tower Bridge and the first time I saw what was a sea of poppies just flowing over the grounds. The outline seemed like the outline of the United Kingdom, which would have been fitting since it was days before the vote on whether Scotland was going to vote to leave the United Kingdom, leaving a very different union, if any. Happily the United Kingdom is still united. That was pretty special.
It was after I took the photographs of the ceramic poppies, in fact much later, that I found out more about the art installation – each poppy represents a soldier who died in WW1 and the art is evolving. When we visited Tower of London grounds a few days later I saw that the poppies seemed to have changed… they were flowing outwards. It was really something to see. A few days later the poppies are bleeding through the window of the Tower and flowing into the Moat with more depth. There will be, in total 888,246 ceramic poppies when all of them have been planted. The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red is inspired by the poem of the same name which was written by an unknown soldier in World War 1.
Each ceramic poppy is hand-made and they are all different. The first of them was “planted” by volunteers – by hand – on August 5th and the last will be planted on November 11th, Armistice Day. Think of it – every single poppy represents someone’s life.
It seemed that no matter how many photographs I took it would never be enough and they wouldn’t do full justice to beautiful sight of the thousands of poppies. I will definitely make several of them into art prints and canvases. I felt very honoured to have seen and visited this wonderful evolving art installation which is going to look even more stunning when it covers the entire moat of the Tower of London. When I read up about the installation I was blown away by the creativity that brought this art to life in such a beautiful way. This sea of red ceramic poppies was truly one of the many highlights of my trip home to London this year.You can see where I shared this (bigger photo) and more on my Instagram.