Iconic Poppies coming to Liverpool

The iconic poppy sculpture which attracted millions of people to the Tower of London in 2014 is coming to Liverpool.

Weeping Window copyright Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces
Weeping Window copyright Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces

Weeping Window is a section of the artwork showcased in the capital last year and is a tribute to the fallen in World War One.

It will go on display on part of the external façade of St George’s Hall – a location intrinsically linked with the Great War – as part of a UK-wide tour organised by 14-18 Now who are the national organisers of the First World War Centenary Cultural Programme.

When on display in London, the Weeping Window was the cascade of poppies that could be seen pouring out of a high window and in to the moat below and is made up of thousands of ceramic flowers.

It will be erected at the start of November in time for the city’s annual Remembrance Service on Sunday 8 November, and will be in place until January 2016.

Following a bidding process to host either Weeping Window or Wave which is another part of the poppy sculpture, Liverpool is one of just three locations for 2015.  The others are the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield and Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool is honoured and privileged to be chosen to host the Weeping Window.

“There is no better location than St George’s Hall, with its intrinsic links to WW1 and the Liverpool PALS and its Cenotaph where people come to pay their respects to the war dead. It is the spiritual heart of the city and a place where Liverpool gathers at important moments in its history, whether for celebration or sorrow. I know that people will come from far and wide in huge numbers to see the Weeping Window, particularly around Remembrance Sunday.

“We will be working in partnership with other organisations to run a community education programme focused around the history of WW1 and encourage personal remembrance and reflection.”

The Weeping Window and Wave are from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. The original poppies concept was created by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper.  It was originally at the Tower of London from August to November 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one to honour every death in the British and Colonial forces of the First World War.

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said: “14-18 NOW are thrilled to be taking the poppies to Liverpool, and we are pleased to announced that Weeping Window will be in St George’s Hall for Armistice Day 2015.  This is the latest in a number of commissions with the city that have opened new perspectives on the First World War, including the Giants, Dazzle Ship and the Dazzle Ferry, and we look forward to working with them on this exciting project.”

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, and gifted to 14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums. Financial support for the presentations has been received from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and fundraising for the presentations is ongoing.

DAF Trucks are the transport sponsor for the UK presentations, and 14-18 NOW are delighted to partner with DAF on making this historic project a reality.

There will be free access to the poppies for the public to view the work, and it will be supported with an educational programme.

Secretary of State John Whittingdale said: “It is fantastic that there will be new ceramic poppy installations in different parts of the country. This is art at its most powerful and it is only right that everyone should have the chance to see them. The London installation had a huge impact on all those who saw it and the new installations will do the same. This is an another important opportunity for us to remember and pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the First World War.”

For the latest information visit www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/poppies or www.1418Now.org.uk/poppies. On Twitter follow @CultureLpool or @1418NOW #PoppiesTour.

Liverpool Waterfront