The story behind Paul Cummins and Tom Piper’s Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation in 2014.
This year marks the centenary of World War I, otherwise known as the Great War. Originally described as ‘the world to end all wars’ with an estimated 16 million deaths, unfortunately Britain was plunged back into warfare just 20 years and nine months later with the advent of World War II. With no one alive today who remembers WWI, it is important that as a nation – and the world – we never forget the sacrifices and hardships people went through both at home and away.
Over this year, there have been various events and memorials to mark 100 years since the start of the Great War. However, one of the most high-profile and poetically beautiful has been the poppies installation at the Tower Of London. Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red is a evolving art installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins with setting by stage designer Tom Piper. Over the summer and autumn, 888,246 ceramic poppies will be placed in the moat surrounding the Tower Of London. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during WWI.
People have been invited to buy a poppy for £25, perhaps in memory of a loved one or ancestor who perished during the war. A portion of proceeds from the sales go to six service charities.
- Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red runs at the Tower Of London from 5 August to 11 November 2014. To visit the installation, the Tower of London is located at Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway or Fenchurch Street. To find out how to buy a poppy, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website. Use #towerpoppies on Twitter or Facebook with your images of the poppies.
For Metro Girl’s blog post on the poppies installation in 2018, click here.