Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red; a different view

7 Comments

 

 

After yesterdays post, a little background information, on both the installation and the Tower of London.

 

The poppies were planted by  teams of volunteers,

 Poppies Tower of London Vols 2

It must have been an operation planned with military precision.

Poppies Tower of London setting out

It would have been an overwhelming task without a master plan.

Poppies Tower of London setting out 3

(and surely packing them all up again is going to be harder?

Poppies Tower of London box

Although that warm fuzzy glow, of feeling part of something special, is the thing that keeps volunteers coming back for more

Poppies Tower of London setting out 2

My favourite shot form our day (29th August) is poppies with shadows. War casts very long shadows.

Poppies Tower of London shadow

There was something about the mottling  effect of the shadows that reminded me of the solar eclipse in the UK, in 1998, another event I found more emotional than I anticipated.

It was quite early in the installations development when we visited, whilst I’d read about it in the press, there wasn’t the wall to wall coverage there has been in the media this week. So a gripe for us at the time was that there weren’t enough information boards

Poppies Tower of London mechanics 2

Some might call it a theatrical event rather than artistic installation, the weeping window has caught the public imagination.

Poppies Tower of London weeping window

However I did think a bit of ‘set dressing’ might have been in order, when I sold flowers for a living, including poppies, we never let the viewer see the mechanics of our arrangements. I thought the scaffolding pole, lump of timber and blob of foam holding the cascade in place could have benefited from being hidden by a couple of yards of fabric and some cable ties.

Poppies Tower of London mechanics

But working in a place as ancient, historic and protected as this, must come with scores of problems. You can’t go around damaging or changing the fabric of such a place, well not these days, you could in the past.

Poppies Tower of London walls_

We found it both moving and reverential,  but there were, if you looked very closely, little witticisms to be found. What I thought was a can of Coke on a window ledge, turned out to be (when seen with the aid of a long lens) a Beefeater cookie jar, placed just for fun.

Poppies Tower of London little beefeater

Beefeater or Yeoman Warders as they are more properly known, do have something of a sense of fun, see below (and be careful if you are drinking tea whilst watching, you’ll splutter it all over the keyboard).

 

 

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Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

7 thoughts on “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red; a different view

  1. Thanks for sharing the Yeoman with us! What a comedian. He’s really brightened up my afternoon.

  2. A most enjoyable post, and terrific photos. Thanks for the warning not to be drinking tea whilst watching that. xx

  3. We went just after midnight on 11th and think that perhaps the semi-darkness added poignancy to whole thing. It was very very moving, particularly reading the comments about lost relatives on the little crosses that people had left in the shrubbery adjacent to the railings.

    I was persuaded to go by Doug’s Mum and was pleased I did.

    By the way, if you don’t already know about it, and as you seem to enjoy proper local food, next time you are in that neck of the woods you must try the beigel bakery at the top of Brick Lane – it’s been there over 40 years and serve the best salt beef beigels in the world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beigel_Bake

  4. Pingback: Riverside Walk | Uphilldowndale

  5. One of the most amazing public art exhibits I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing some additional views to those on the news.

  6. Pingback: Shooting the Sun | Uphilldowndale

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