The weeping window at woodhorn

One thing both my long suffering better half and I agreed upon was that we both wanted to go and see the Weeping window poppies display at Woodhorn colliery, we had seen the photos of its original concept at the tower of London and I for one was deeply moved, so getting to see part of it was a must …………….however trying to fit a visit in seemed almost impossible , there was always something that turned up which meant postponing it for yet another day , however with time running out we both cleared a few hours and went for a visit this afternoon , naturally the weather was lousy , wet dull with one of those grey endless clags (mist) hanging around , however today it seem to add to the whole feel of the place , should we remember these great (and I use the word great with utter respect ) historical events with sadness ? Pride? Respect? Or just plain thankfulness …………..I don’t know I suppose we all have our own way of feeling or showing some support, for myself it brought back memories of my time in the Royal Navy and in particular friends I lost down the Falkland’s and yes I did feel sad, more that I had forgotten about them rather than any deep grief as they say time is a good healer.

But with the design of the display I think had the sun been out and shining and a lovely blue sky I think that the overall effect (on me anyway) would have been more of a happy but thankful feeling rather than one of sadness but I suppose we are all different.

One thing that did surprise me was the amount of people there on this cold wet dull day, many of them veterans wearing there medals with pride and many other folk wearing there “veteran’s badge” that doesn’t need any words other than yes I served.

Anyway a bit of info about this installation -

Weeping Window, and Wave which is also on tour, are both from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – poppies and original concept created by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. The installation was originally at HM 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.

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.

The breath-taking 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.

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 Core 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. 

A few photos from today:-