The Tower of London’s “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” features 900,000 hand-made ceramic poppies representing the UK’s losses in the First World War.
While nations around the world remember and commemorate the start of World War One, “the war to end all wars”, one hundred years ago, few can match the unique and touching tribute the United Kingdom is giving to 888,246 British and Colonial service-people who perished on and off the battlefield between the outbreak of war on Aug 4th, 1914, and Aug 31st, 1921 (the date used by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as a cut-off point for fatalities from injuries suffered up until the armistice on November 11th, 1918).
Known as “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” this sprawling art installation consists of almost 900,000 red ceramic poppies hand-made by 50 potters under the direction of artist Paul Cummins. “In terms of pure logistics, we worked out that it would take one person three and a half years to install all the poppies,” explained Tom Piper, an Olivier Award-winning theater designer with the Royal Shakespeare Company who designed the installation, “so we are using 150 volunteers who will do it in two weeks. We have worked out that we need 50 poppies per square meter, across 16 acres of moat.”