What’s Goin’ On*

It’s the hundred-year anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1. Not particularly something one wants to celebrate but certainly should be meditated upon … not only because it was a terrible thing (nine million men died fighting it, and that’s only the beginning of the death and destruction) but because it’s a hundred years later and not much has changed.

The next weeks and months will be full of commemorations of one sort or another, but I wanted to bring your attention to one: The Tower of London Remembers.

The evolving installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, will be unveiled on 5 August 2014; one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War.

Entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, the installation is being created in the Tower’s famous dry moat. It will continue to grow throughout the summer until the moat is filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies, each poppy representing a British or Colonial military fatality during the war. (Emphasis mine.)

I’ve seen photos, and they’re spectacular and moving. Here’s one set of photos at Colossal: Art, Design, and Visual Culture.

Photo © Historic Royal Palaces 2014

Photo © Historic Royal Palaces 2014

Here is another collection of photos—completely different—at Buzzfeed.

It’s beautiful and sobering. If you’re in the area, you should definitely make an effort to see this exhibit.

* Father, father / We don’t need to escalate / You see, war is not the answer / For only love can conquer hate … (Marvin Gaye, All Cleveland, Renaldo Benson)


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