Keep the kettle on Luv, I’ll be back soon !!

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Chelsea Pensioner Albert Willis plants a ceramic poppy amongst other poppies that form part of the art installation called "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" at the Tower of London

 

 

Back on the 5th of August I featured a post about the extraordinary tribute “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” occurring at The Tower of London to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of World War I.  Even if you missed my post, by now you’ve no doubt seen all the photos shared across the world as the installation progressed in the interim months. Perhaps you were even lucky enough to view the sea of ceramic poppies in person, a powerfully poignant experience I’ve been told. I’m sure no photo can really do it justice, but in this case, a picture says 888,246 words, or rather, names.  A handmade ceramic poppy represents each and every person lost during the War.

I promised to report back with a few photos of the installation upon completion which is, of course, today, Veteran’s Day.

To find out much more about this fascinating collaboration, and what’s happening next, please read my original post ;

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

 

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The Queen and Prince Phillip visit earlier this month

Volunteers plant ceramic poppies amongst other poppies that form part of the art installation called "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" at the Tower of London

Volunteers came from all over the globe to help with the daily installation.

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As you can see, it is something quite extraordinary.

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Today we take time to honour not only all the brave souls lost in WWI, but all those whose lives are deeply affected by the loss of loved ones in all wars.

World War I centenary

 

There is a poppy representing my paternal great grandfather at the tower today.

Thank you from afar to artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper for conceiving of such an awe inspiring tribute. Not only is the creativity so extraordinary, but the execution of your vision, and the fluidity of how it grew and, in the end, will remain organic…spreading the original poppies all over the world, is pure artistic genius.

 

 

 

image 1 & 3; Luke McGregor/Reuters. image #2 Valentine Low, #4 pootlingaround.com

26 Comments

  1. Quite simply, the most emotionally eloquent piece of art I’ve glimpsed in my life. Thank you for being the first to alert me to it.

  2. Thanks to your August post – my dream to see the exhibit came true! I was able to get to London in September to see it! Unforgettable! The most moving tribute to the fallen. Thank you so much!!

  3. I was able to visit the Tower and see the installation on Remembrance Sunday. It would be emotional for anyone but I was accompanied by my son who I’d met up with for the first time since July as he’d just returned from his second tour in Afghanistan. Every one of those poppies symbolises a young man killed in the First World War but unfortunately there have been many more since. I am so grateful to have my son home safe with me. The poppy I bought will be a reminder of that.

  4. Dear Ms. Paley:

    Truly celestial. I’m so sorry my recent business trip to London did not allow time to see this incredible work.

    Guess I’ll have to return immediately.

  5. This is so amazing, I’ve been following it on the news, but love your images. By far the most beautiful tribute to our veterans, really stunning, How wonderful to know your great grandfather is being honored.

  6. My partner and I visited this installation during our October trip to London and it was profoundly moving. To try to wrap one’s head around the scale of loss illustrated by the vast number of these beautifully made ceramic poppies was mind-boggling. We have a number of them coming to us here in the States when the installation is dismantled, and they will go in a place of honor in our garden to remind us of the incredible waste of humanity that constitutes war.

    • pigtown*design, sadly most of it is coming down but a couple of sections, e.g. the window, will be kept up until the end of the month. it has been spectacular.

  7. In the light of day…… A beautiful visual tribute to their courage, duty, love of country and immense sacrifice…. and in the moonlight…..a soft cool breeze whispers, as it moves gently around and through them, that we are grateful for the beauty and peace they gave their lives to preserve.
    Hope someone made sure those wonderful volunteers who so tirelessly gave their time to lift each poppy and secure it’s rightful place in the tribute, had a cool pint waiting at days end. Does anyone know the music in the video ?

  8. Slim, Thank you so much for sharing this. The video was very moving. The sheer numbers of those who gave their lives for this war is just incomprehensible, but this helps bring the point home so well. I wish we wore poppies here in the U.S. like they do in the U.K. It’s a nice tradition and reminder about what this day is all about.

  9. heartbreakingly beautiful. when you think of how many of those poppies were for boys, really. certainly not yet men. I wish I had the chance to see it in person, but the photos and videos are so beautiful. And thank you, too, for your family’s service and sacrifice. May they all rest in peace.

  10. A most exquisite tribute. Thank you so much for bringing me many Canadian and British connections to my roots, Nova Scotia and Spencer. Blessing to you and your family as you remember your paternal great grandfather today and everyday. Poignant thoughts and tears for the wisdom and sacrifice of so many so that we may live in freedom. God bless us all as we face new challenges from within our midst.

  11. This is such a beautiful tribute. The images are extraordinary. I remember visiting the Tower during the holidays two years ago. This inspiration is juxtaposed against my memories of that rainy day in London. Thank you for the reminder.

  12. The poppies convey the numbers who died but not the stories behind them. So many young lads cut down in their prime; each one leaving a gaping hole in the web of lives and destinies of their local communities.

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