Iconic Poppy Sculpture Weeping Window Opens in Carlisle
Thursday, 24th May 2018
ICONIC POPPY SCULPTURE WEEPING WINDOW OPENS IN CARLISLE
The iconic poppy sculpture Weeping Window by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper opens Wednesday 23 May, at Carlisle Castle. The work will be on site until 8 July 2018 as part of the final year of 14-18 NOW’s UK-wide tour of the poppies.
The presentations by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, give people across the UK the chance to experience the impact of the ceramic poppy sculptures in a range of places of particular First World War resonance. The sculptures have already been displayed in 15 locations since the tour started in 2015 and viewed by over 3.75 million people to date. At the end of the tour they will become part of the Imperial War Museums’ collection.
Throughout the First World War, Carlisle Castle was the headquarters for the Border Regiment, one of the oldest in the British Army. The poppy sculpture will be displayed from the top of the keep, arching over the inner ward wall and cascading down into the outer ward of the castle complex, an area which incorporates the military barracks and parade ground where troops were housed and trained in preparation for front-line combat in the First World War. A total of 23,000 recruits passed through the castle during the war.
Andrea Selley, Historic Properties Director of English Heritage North, said:
“The installation has been a true labour of love and an insight into the intricacies of building such a unique sculpture. The level of commitment of the installation team has been remarkable and with its completion, we are all the more privileged to host Weeping Window. The historical legacy of the castle is such that this is the perfect location especially in the last year of the Poppies tour and we look forward to welcoming visitors to see what is an extraordinary work of art, within an extraordinary location.”
Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said:
“The poppies have captivated millions of people across the UK, and we are delighted to present Weeping Window at Carlisle Castle as part of the ongoing tour. 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.”
Weeping Window is from the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ – poppies and original concept 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 for every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during the First World War. Together, the sculptures Wave and Weeping Window are made of over 11,000 poppies.
The tour has been made possible by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Backstage Trust, the Clore Duffield Foundation and the National Lottery. DAF Trucks are the transport sponsor for the UK presentations, and 14-18 NOW is 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. Storage of the sculptures is generously provided by MTEC.
For further press enquiries please contact:
Kendra Grahame-Clarke, English Heritage North
Tel: 07910 214474
National Press Enquiries:
Sim Eldem, Bolton & Quinn
Tel: 020 7221 5000
Notes to Editors
Carlisle Castle, with its military connections from the 11th century to today, is cared for and opened to visitors by English Heritage. A key property in the north for the charity and home to Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life, the Castle is proud to host the Poppies in the final year of the national tour. Flowing from the top of the keep, arcing over the inner ward wall and cascading down into the outer ward, the Weeping Window sculpture will allow visitors to see the structure from below for the first time.
In World War One, Carlisle Castle provided an HQ for the Volunteer Training Corps, accommodation for the Labour Corps, and was HQ for the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment from 1873 to 1959. A total of 23,000 recruits passed through the castle during the First World War, with the war costing the Border Regiment nearly 7,000 lives.
The Regiment saw action in almost every theatre of war: France, Flanders, India, Burma and Gallipoli, Italy, Mesopotamia and Macedonia. Many Battle Honours were awarded to the Regiment, including five Victoria Crosses.
Carlisle Castle, Castle Way, Carlisle, CA3 8UR
Paul Cummins MBE is a ceramic artist, internationally renowned for the installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' at HRP Tower of London 2014, as well as many other installations including his work on the Cultural Olympiad in 2012. Locations for previous works include the Houses of Parliament, Chatsworth House, Althorp Estate and Blenheim Palace. Paul was inspired to produce a ceramic poppy to honour every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during the First World War.
Tom Piper MBE was Associate Designer for the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2004 to 2014, and was closely involved in the redevelopment of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. His theatre credits include over 30 productions for the RSC, including the award-winning History series. Other recent designs include Hamlet, King Lear (Citizens Theatre), Red Velvet (Tricycle Theatre and St Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn), Tamburlaine (TFANA New York), Pride and Prejudice (Regent's Park Theatre), The King’s Speech (Birmingham Rep and Tour) and Zorro the Musical (West End and world tour). Piper's opera credits include Macbeth and Falstaff (Scottish Opera), Orfeo (ROH and Roundhouse). Tom collaborated with the British Museum and Alan Farlie Architects on the exhibition Shakespeare: Staging the World in 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Tom is a Creative Associate at the Tricycle Theatre.
His many awards include an Olivier Award (costume design) for the Histories series.
14 -18 NOW
14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists across all art forms; the programme has included over 200 artists from 35 countries, with commissions taking place in 160 locations across the UK. Over 30 million people have experienced a project so far, including 7.5 million children and young people. 16.7million people took part in LIGHTS OUT in 2014, and 63% of the population were aware of Jeremy Deller’s 2016 work ‘We’re here because we’re here’. The UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper have been seen by over 3.5 million people to date. 14-18 NOW has won many awards for its work, including the National Lottery Heritage Award 2017, a Museums Heritage Award and the Chairman’s Award at The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2016. It is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising.