14-18 NOW toured the iconic poppy sculptures Wave and Weeping Window by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, during the First World War centenary between 2015 and 2018. The sculptures visited 19 locations around the UK and were seen by over 4.6 million people. Weeping Window and Wave have now become part of the Imperial War Museums’ collection.
Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring from a high window to the ground below; Wave is a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks. The two 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 summer and autumn of 2014. Over the course of their time at the Tower, they were gradually surrounded by a vast field of ceramic poppies, each one planted by a volunteer. In their original setting they captured the public imagination and were visited by over 5 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, it was agreed that the works of art at the heart 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.
Wave and Weeping Window are 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, originally at HM Tower of London 2014.