Poppies: Weeping Window

Poppies: Weeping Window

Poppies: Weeping Window MIDDLEPORT POTTERY

2 AUGUST – 16 SEPTEMBER 2018

Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring from a high location to the ground below.

The sculpture, alongside Wave, a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper were initially conceived as the key dramatic sculptural elements in the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in the summer and autumn of 2014.

Over the course of their time at the Tower, the sculptures were gradually surrounded by a vast field of ceramic poppies, each one planted by a volunteer in memory of every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during the First World War. In their original setting they captured the public imagination and were visited by over five million people.

14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, is presenting the iconic sculptures at selected locations around the UK until 2018. They have already been seen by 4 million people in 16 locations. 

Weeping Window is from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces.

 

Poppies: Weeping Window in Stoke-on-Trent

Stoke-on-Trent is officially recognised as the World Capital of Ceramics, and Middleport Pottery has been operating since 1889. During the First World War demand for the ceramics goods made in the area greatly increased. These included tableware for hospitals, homes and the military; propaganda-ware, including small ceramic tanks and battleships; plates with patriotic designs or messages on them; and ceramics to mark both the early stages of the war and the Armistice at the end.

The war also saw women taking on bigger roles in the pottery industry; with the men volunteering or being called-up, they came to the fore as decorators and designers, taking key roles from men and being recognised after the war as leading lights.

Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent was the last regional tour venue before it moved to its final presentation at Imperial War Museum London before moving into the long-term ownership of the Imperial War Museum.

What is 14 – 18 NOW?

14-18 NOW is a five-year programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War. Working with arts and heritage partners all across the UK, we commission new artworks from leading contemporary artists, musicians, designers and performers, inspired by the period 1914-18.

As with all 14-18 NOW projects, the presentation of Poppies: Wave and Weeping Window to new audiences across the UK aims to prompt a new, nationwide dialogue around the legacy of the First World War.

To find out more about the Poppies: Wave and Weeping Window tour visit www.1418NOW.org.uk/poppies  Find out more about 14 – 18 Now here.