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Southend-on-Sea to host iconic poppy sculpture as part of 14-18 NOW tour

Published Thursday, 6th October 2016

Poppies: Wave
By Paul Cummins artist and Tom Piper designer 
(Tower of London with ceramic poppies installation)

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is pleased to announce that the popular coastal town will present Wave by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper at Barge Pier, Shoeburyness.

As part of 14-18 NOW’s UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies the installation will be at Barge Pier, located at Gunner’s Park, from 12 April to 25 June 2017.

The presentations by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, will 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.  Southend was the scene of one of the first air-raids attacks on the UK and many of the artillery guns used were designed and tested at Shoeburyness. In common with the rest of the country, many people from Southend fought or acted as nursing staff and many made the ultimate sacrifice.

Cllr John Lamb, Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “I’m thrilled that the iconic poppies will be exhibited at Barge Pier. The ranges and garrison played a key role in both world wars, so it is apt that they should host this spectacular work of art to commemorate all those who have paid the ultimate price in serving their country.

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said: “The poppies have captivated millions of people across the UK, and we are delighted to present Wave at Barge Pier in Shoeburyness, Southend in 2017 as part of the ongoing tour. Artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper have created two enormously powerful artworks of national significance that continue to inspire all who see them.”

Wave and Weeping Window are 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 to honour every death in the British and Colonial forces of the First World War.

The two poppy sculptures being presented 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. The learning and engagement programme for the poppies tour is supported by the Foyle Foundation.

Caption: Poppies: Wave

By Paul Cummins artist and Tom Piper designer

For images of Gunners Park and Barge Pier, please visit our Flickr account.