Sunday, 2 November 2014

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Like half the population of London it seems, we went off to see the poppy installation at the Tower of London yesterday.  For those of you further afield, this is a project which is filling the moat at the Tower with 888,246 ceramic poppies. Some more info about the installation can be found here.

Having chatted to a friend who'd been up earlier in the week we decided not to attempt to go near it during the day...the crowds had been 6 deep during the week and by yesterday the public were being asked to stay away as the numbers were becoming unmanageable!  Instead we headed up during the evening on Saturday, getting there around 7pm when it was still busy but not too bad.

The installation is very impressive and certainly worth seeing.  There has been a bit of a debate going on in the media about the intentions and effect of it, especially in the Guardian.  The artist's view can be found here and the original article which sparked the debate here.

As a died in the wool, trendy-lefty Guardian reading liberal [note the small 'l'] I have some sympathy with Jonathan Jones' view that there is a danger this encourages a view of the war from a Nationalist viewpoint rather than an Internationalist one, but there is no doubt that the installation is hugely effective and visually impressive.  If nothing else it has focused more attention on the human cost of war and judging by the comments I overheard while up there yesterday has engaged families in discussing history... it's also done wonders for the Tower of London's visitor numbers!!  I've only ever been there once on a school trip to London back in the late 70's...must go and see it properly at some point, after all the crowds have gone!

If you get a chance to go and see it before the dismantling begins after 11/11 do so...well worth seeing.


  1. I went to see it Wednesday, your photos are a lot better than mine. Champion stuff!

  2. I went on Monday. Love your floodlit photos.