Saturday 6 September 2014

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

After a morning visit to The Cornershop a few weeks ago, I headed back into central London for a Crafty Cuppa with Fiona at the National Gallery. After tea and yummy cake, a wander round some of the galleries and much nattering about the ups and downs of being self-employed, we hopped on the Tube to visit Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red - the installation of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London.


The Tower's moat is slowly being filled with 888,246 poppies, each one representing a British or Colonial military fatality during the First World War.


I'd seen lots of photos of this installation online and in the papers but nothing quite prepares you for the sheer scale of it when viewed in person. 


That huge sea of poppies "bleeding" from the Tower is both beautiful and incredibly sad, a combination that makes it a very powerful and moving installation to visit.


I'd not been to the Tower of London since I was about 11 (which was quite a while ago!), so when Fiona headed home I took some time to admire the amazingness of the Tower and its fascinating history ...

... and to stroll along the river and past Tower Bridge.

The poppies are still being installed, the sea of red growing larger week by week until the installation ends on 11th November. I've applied to volunteer to help "plant" some of the poppies but they've apparently been swamped with applications so that may not work out. Whatever happens though, I will definitely be making at least one return trip to see the poppies before November.

Click here to buy one of the poppies, or click here to make a dedication and donate to the Tower's chosen service charities. 

You can read more about the installation here and watch a fascinating video about the making of the poppies below. (If you can't see the video you can view it here). 


Anonymous said...

That really does look like it has a lot of impact. The Tower is somewhere we have never gone as it is just so expensive to go inside and we have never got around to going in the grounds alone - if you can even still do that for free. I'm often a stranger in my own town as things are just so prohibitively expensive to visit, which is such a shame. Some things we saw when my daughter was small as they were free then - like Westminster Abbey which was so interesting. Would love to see the Tower of London, so maybe soon... Thanks for showing us your visit.

C said...

I didn't realise they would be adding poppies up to 11 November. I will definitely have to make a trip up to see it for myself. Thanks for the info!

http://thankfullga447 said...

I stayed at a quaint hotel down the street, not on the side where the big hotels were. I love being on the bridge at night. Love the poppies idea.

Marjie said...

Thanks so much for sharing the photos of the poppy installation, it is beautiful, and sad. Would love to see it in person, but it would be quite a trip, since I live about 4 hours north of New York City. By the way, love your book, Super Cute Felt, bought it a few months ago. Planning on making a hedgehog for my first project!

Cream Linen said...

This is a really amazing installation! I very much liked the video of the making of the poppies.
Thank you for sharing the pictures and information with us.

Jane said...

Its amazing to see, we went a few weeks ago. We live too far away to visit again before it ends, but we bought a poppy.

Anonymous said...

wow- absolutely amazing.

Christine M said...

Those poppies look amazing in the photos and I can only imagine what they look like in person. I wish I could see them for myself.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Sara - Going inside the Tower is indeed pricey! I am hoping to go when they're running one of those "2-for-1 when you travel by train" deals. I enjoyed just looking round the outside though, and of course you can enjoy the Poppies in the moat at the same time.

Xenia - Yes, I didn't include the, in the photos but there were lots of volunteers busy "planting" poppies as the installation grows. There are so many poppies it's a big effort! I hope you'll enjoy your visit x

Gisela - Ooh, I've not been to that bit of London at night I must try to sometime, thanks for the tip!

Marjie - I do love how the magic of the internet opens up a window to the other side of the world :) I hope you'll have fun sewing your hedgehog! x

Tina - So much time and skill went into the making of this installation, it was lovely to be able to see "behind the scenes" in that video!

Jane - We've bought one too, it is lovely to be a teeny part of such a special project.

Christine - Glad you enjoyed the photos! :)