The iconic poppy sculpture Weeping Window, by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, is now outside the Senedd in Cardiff, as part of the UK-wide tour of the poppies organised by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.
The Senedd, home to the National Assembly for Wales, is one of the most iconic buildings in Wales. The Weeping Window sculpture, made up of thousands of ceramic poppies, will be on display from 8 August to 24 September 2017.
The display forms part of Wales’ programme of events marking the centenary of the First World War, which has been organised by the Welsh Government and takes place across the country. The display of Weeping Window will coincide with the centenary of Battle of Passchendaele, which took the lives of many Welshmen, including the celebrated poet Hedd Wyn.
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 for every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during 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.
For the first time visitors will be able to view the sculpture from all sides, including behind, through the Senedd’s floor to ceiling windows.
Younger visitors will be able to explore a free Senedd Trail or try their hands at making a poppy. For those a little older, there will be free half-hour tours on the hour to illustrate why democracy at the Senedd is important to ensuring peace in society. Visitors will be encouraged to leave a comment in reflection.
In addition, on Thursday evenings in August, the Senedd will be open until 20.00 for visitors to see the sculpture as the light changes, and the Senedd café will be open for longer to accommodate this.
Alongside Weeping Window the National Assembly for Wales will also host an exhibition titled Women, War and Peace. Renowned photojournalist Lee Karen Stow brings her world-famous exhibition to Wales, featuring the addition of specially commissioned portraits telling the story of Welsh women affected by war.
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Ann Jones AM, Deputy Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, said: “It is a privilege and an honour to host this iconic sculpture at our iconic Senedd.
“It is the focal point of Welsh civic and political life and it is fitting that we mark the sacrifice made by so many Welsh women and men during the First World War by displaying this poignant piece of work."
“Together with Lee Karen’s Stow’s exhibition and the Weeping Window, the Senedd is displaying two pieces which invite us to take time to contemplate how so many fought and died to protect democracy and our way of life.”
Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said: “The poppies have captivated millions of people across the UK, and we are delighted to have worked with the National Assembly for Wales to present Weeping Window at the Senedd in Cardiff. We are so grateful to artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper for these two enormously powerful artworks of national significance that continue to inspire all who see them.”
The tour of Wave and Weeping Window by 14-18 NOW gives people across the UK the chance to experience the impact of the ceramic poppy sculptures in a range of places of First World War resonance. Since the tour began in 2015, the sculptures have been seen by over 2.7 million people. Wave and Weeping Window will continue to be on view at selected locations around the UK, arriving at IWM North and IWM London in the autumn of 2018.
Following the presentation in Cardiff, Weeping Window will be at Ulster Museum in Belfast from 14 October to 3 December 2017. Wave will be on display at CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial from 23 August to 19 November 2017.
Wave and Weeping Window have been 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.