Tower of London poppies to tour north of England

Tower of London, poppies
The poppies installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, in the dry moat of the Tower of London Credit: LeaHair/Historic Royal Palaces

Two parts of installation – Wave and Weeping Willow – will go on show in Yorkshire, Liverpool and Northumberland later this year.

Tower of London, poppies
The poppies installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, in the dry moat of the Tower of London Credit: LeaHair/Historic Royal Palaces

The poppies at the Tower of London were one of the most poignant and beautiful public works of art ever seen in the UK and now people across Britain can experience their impact.

Two installations of ceramic poppies – Wave and Weeping Window – will go on show in Yorkshire, Northumberland and Liverpool.

The Weeping Window is the cascade of poppies that poured out of the Tower of London’s window, while the Wave saw poppies arch over the building’s entrance.

They originally formed part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at Tower of London from August to November 2014 to commemorate lives lost during the First World War – 888,246 poppies were displayed, one to honour every death in the British and Colonial forces. Millions of visitors flocked to see the stunning sight.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield, Yorkshire, will host Wave from September until January 2016. Weeping Window will be shown at Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland, from September to October 2015, and St George’s Hall in Liverpool, from November to January. The sites were chosen because of their connections with the First World War.

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Each one of these poppies, made in Derby and Stoke and displayed at the Tower London last year, represents a British soldier who answered the call from their country a century ago and made the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s brilliant news that people across the country will be able to see these iconic poppies on display in Northumberland, Liverpool and Yorkshire, to pay their respects to those who sacrifice everything to protect British freedoms.”

The two sculptures, which together have more than 10,000 poppies, have been saved for the nation by the Backstage Trust and the Clore Duffield Foundation.

Each location will provide free access for the public to view the work, and will be supported with an educational programme. Venues to host the poppies in 2016 will be announced in September 2015. Many of the poppies will be homed in the Imperial War Museums in Manchester and London permanently in 2018.

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