Woodhorn Museum are pleased to announce that they will present Weeping Window as part of a UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies sculpture organised by 14-18 NOW. The installation will be at Woodhorn from mid-September to mid-October 2015.
Wave and Weeping Window are from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – poppies and original concept created by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. The installation was originally at HM Tower of London from August to November 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one to honour every death in the British and Colonial forces of the First World War.
Woodhorn Director Keith Merrin expressed his pride that the Ashington museum will be the first venue anywhere in the world to host Weeping Window outside London.
“Woodhorn is renowned for both reflecting the stories of the communities of North East England and its deep commitment to bringing the best art and cultural experiences to those communities. We are extremely honoured to have been chosen to show Weeping Window which is an amazing piece of art and very poignant in the subject that it represents. Over 2,000 men from Woodhorn Colliery alone served in World War One and many thousands more from across the region fought and died 100 years ago.
“We know that the Tower of London became a place where people could come and honour the memories of the fallen and we expect that people from throughout the North East region and farther afield will want to come to Woodhorn to do the same. The poppies will look incredible against the industrial backdrop of our historic coal mining structures and provide an opportunity for our local communities, who may not have had the chance to see them in London, to see them at first hand.”
Secretary of State John Whittingdale:
"It is fantastic that there will be new ceramic poppy installations in different parts of the country. This is art at its most powerful and it is only right that everyone should have the chance to see them. The London installation had a huge impact on all those who saw it and the new installations will do the same. This is another important opportunity for us to remember and pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the First World War."
The two poppy sculptures being present across the UK, together totaling over 10,000 poppies, have been saved for the nation by the Backstage Trust and the Clore Duffield Foundation, and gifted to 14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums. 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.
At Woodhorn, local funders, partners and sponsors are also coming together at short notice to ensure that the sculpture can come to Northumberland.
Dave Ledger, armed forces champion, Northumberland County Council, said:
“We were determined to do all we could to bring this iconic sculpture to Northumberland including being the first to provide funding to make this happen. This piece of art is an important way to reflect our heritage and industry and
recognises the people who served in the armed forces while remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Adam Lopardo, Head of Partnerships at Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland said:
“Through our donors including The Linden Fund, G S May Family Fund, Vital Northumberland and Northumbrian Water, we are thrilled to have pulled together to ensure that this exciting and much talked about installation can come to the North East. Bringing this inspiring work to Woodhorn not only gives the people of the North East the chance to enjoy and reflect on it but also supports the local economy of South East Northumberland.”
Staff at Woodhorn are working on plans to manage what are expected to be large numbers of people who want to visit the artwork, and they will be announcing opening times and visitor information in the coming weeks.
Anyone who wants to find out more can sign up to receive information in the Woodhorn newsletter via the website www.experiencewoodhorn.com
Updates will also be available via the museum Facebook page.