The iconic poppy sculpture Weeping Window by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper opened at the cathedral on Wednesday 14 March. The work will be on site until 29 April 2018 as part of the final year of 14–18 NOW’s UK-wide tour of the poppies.
The presentations by 14–18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, give people across the UK the chance to experience the impact of the ceramic poppy sculptures in a range of places of particular First World War resonance. The sculptures have already been displayed in 13 locations since the tour started in 2015, and viewed by over 3.5 million people to date. At the end of the tour they will become part of the Imperial War Museums’ collection.
The men and women of Herefordshire made a huge contribution to the war effort, from the brave young men recruited into the Herefordshire Light Infantry – among them Allan Leonard Lewis who was awarded the Victoria Cross – to the Canary Girls who filled munition shells at the Rotherwas Munitions Factory. Local farmers provided food for the country and the Front, as well as horses for the movement of soldiers and supplies.
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. The installation was originally at HM Tower of London from August to November 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one for every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during the First World War. Together, the sculptures Wave and Weeping Window are made of over 11,000 poppies.
The tour has been made possible by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Backstage Trust, the Clore Duffield Foundation and the National Lottery. 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. The learning and engagement programme for the poppies tour is supported by the Foyle Foundation. Storage of the sculptures is generously provided by MTEC.
A dedicated website www.herefordcathedral2018.org has been created for these events.