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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, October 24, 2015: Poppies -- Weeping Window at Woodhorn

 Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn

 

Weeping Window is part of a UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies sculpture organised by 14-18 NOW. The installation is at Woodhorn Mining Museum from 12th September to 1st November 2015.  
 

Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn

 Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn

 
Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring from a high window to the ground below; the other sculpture on tour, Wave is a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks.  These two sculptures, by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, created to mark the centenary of the outbreak of war, are now brought to audiences at venues across the country as part of the 14-18 NOW programme. As with all 14-18 NOW projects, the presentation of these sculptures to new audiences across the United Kingdom aims to prompt a new, nationwide dialogue around the legacy of the First World War. 
 
Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn
Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn
 
The breathtaking sculptures 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 autumn of 2014. Over the course of their time at the Tower, the two sculptures were gradually surrounded by a vast field of ceramic poppies, each one planted by a volunteer in memory of the life of a British and Colonial soldier lost during the First World War. In their original setting they captured the public imagination and were visited by over five million people.
 
Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn 
The original installation was conceived of as transitory, the sea of poppies growing in size until the final one was planted on 11 November 2014. On completion, however, it was agreed that the works of art at the heart of this broader act of memorial should be preserved for the nation. 14-18 NOW is grateful to the Backstage Trust and Clore Duffield Foundation for their support in securing these sculptures for posterity. For the remainder of the 14-18 NOW programme, Wave and Weeping Window will be on view at selected locations around the United Kingdom. They will then be gifted to the Imperial War Museums and displayed during the autumn of 2018 at IWM North and IWM London.  
 

Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn

Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn

 

It is quite appropriate that this Installation is at Woodhorn, as many Miners from Woodhorn were killed in WW1. So pop along to Woodhorn, you have until November 1st to see this wonderful Art Installation.
 

Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn

For a list of Ian Cook's photography and TravelGumbo contributions, please click on this link

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I bought a Poppy in September this year from a Vietnam Vet in Easton MD.

I commented on his cap with the dates on - and he removed his jacket to show me his T-shirt with his Division and Da Nang and a host of other cities where he fought.

Had some amazing stories to tell.

There should have been a crowd watching him, but just me.

 

 

poppy

In 2015 a total of 888,246 hand made ceramic Poppy's were placed at Tower Bridge London to remember the number of men who fell in battle 1914 - 1918.

The Poppy was the first flower to grow in the muddy, churned up fields of battle - after the cease fire.

 

tower bridge poppies

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Last edited by GarryRF

Ah, remember my note about my childhood! Your 30 years are later, and after the Vietnam War had changed many people's view, not necessarily on the poppies or on remembrance, but on the American Legion and VFW, and their role during the Vietnam era.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

While the poppy is mainly used in the Commonwealth it is a symbol for all who have died in war. As Chris de Burgh sang in one of his songs

 

"Up here in heaven, we stand together,

Both the enemy and the friend, 'till the end of time"

 

 

Traveling Canuck

 

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

We southern North Americans are not that unfamiliar with the poppies, although perhaps the younger ones...in my childhood and on, they were annually a tradition carried on by the American Legion. Actually, a little research tells me that the tradition started with them in 1921, and then spread to UK and Commonwealth!

 

Here's the text of the poem, written by John McRae, a Canadian soldier and physician:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Most Americans aren't very familiar with the symbolism of the poppy to the Commonwealth countries.  They are a sign of remembrance, and appreciation of loss of life for those who fought in the Great War(s).  "In Flanders Field the poppies blow, between the crosses row on row,..."

 

When I was young, Remembrance Day (similar to US Veteran's day) in Canada was always characterized by poppies.  Everyone wore one, and I'm glad to say that tradition continues.

 

I've never seen a more impressive display of poppies anywhere.  Beautifully executed by the artists and beautifully captured, Ian.  Many thanks!

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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