Sunday, 2 November 2014


Yesterday evening I was able to visit the display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London. They form an evolving installation called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. There is an interview with the ceramic artist responsible for making the poppies embedded in this BBC news report of the large number of visitors to the Tower of London, drawn by the installation. It is worth watching the interview to gain some sense of what is going in to the making of the installation.


Even at 8 pm there were significant numbers of people visiting. It was very thought provoking and, whilst to an extent ordinary Saturday night life continued, there was a certain sense of the dignified among those who were looking at the poppies. It was certainly possible to find quiet places to stop and reflect.

This installation has captured the public imagination in quite a surprising way - as the artist says in his interview, it isn't really his work any more, but rather a work that belongs to everyone. Part of that capturing of the imagination arises, I think, from the way in which an iconic London landmark - the Tower of London - provides a unique backdrop to the sea of red.

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