The iconic poppy sculpture ‘Weeping Window’ opens tomorrow, 9 June, at The Silk Mill in Derby as part of 14-18 NOW’s UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. It will be on display until 23 July 2017.
During the First World War, Derby Silk Mill was divided into two businesses, one grinding corn and the other making medical supplies, both integral to the British war effort and scarce by 1916. Derby as a whole played a vital part in production during the course of the First World War with Rolls-Royce developing the Eagle Engine at the request of the government to power allied aircraft.
Weeping Window is one of two sculptures taken from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper. The installation was originally at HM Tower of London in 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one to honour every death in the British and Colonial forces of the First World War. The installation was by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. Weeping Window is the cascade of poppies that was seen pouring out of a high window down to the grass below.
Derby was key in the making of the poppies, as the majority of the original 888,246 ceramic poppies displayed at the Tower of London were created by artist Paul Cummins and his team in Cummins’ locally-based studio.
Chief Executive of Derby City Council (Presenting Partner), Paul Robinson, said:
We are delighted that along with our fantastic partners we are able to present Poppies: Weeping Window at The Silk Mill Museum. The Poppies have toured the UK and now people will have the chance to view them in Derby close to where so many of them were made.”
Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said:
The poppies have captivated millions of people across the UK, and we are delighted to present Weeping Window at The Silk Mill in Derby as part of the ongoing tour. We are so grateful to artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper for these two enormously powerful artworks of national significance that have a huge impact on all who see them.”
Weeping Window has been displayed at Maritime Museum in Hull and after the display in Derby will travel to the National Assembly Building Y Senedd in Cardiff from 8 August to 24 September and Ulster Museum in Belfast from 14 October to 3 December. Wave is currently on display Shoeburyness, Southend-on-Sea.
The presentations by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, will 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.
Wave and Weeping Window are the two poppy sculptures being presented across the UK, together totaling over 10,000 poppies saved for the nation by the Backstage Trust and the Clore Duffield Foundation. Financial support for the presentations has been received from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and fundraising for the presentations is ongoing.
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.