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Hull’s Maritime Museum transformed by weeping poppy art installation

PUBLISHED: 09:27 03 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:27 03 April 2017

Hull's Maritime Museum

Hull's Maritime Museum

Joan Russell Photography

Artwork honours Hull’s remarkable maritime past

A cascade of bright red ceramic poppies will be seen pouring from a high window to the ground at Hull’s Maritime Museum as one of two of the latest art installations to be created to celebrate the city of culture.

The Weeping Window will be made of several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring to the ground below while a second sculpture called Wave will appear as a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks. These two sculptures, by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper are part of the nationwide 14-18 NOW Poppies tour which aims to prompt a new, nationwide dialogue around the legacy of the First World War.

The installation is expected to be a huge focal point for many visitors. The Maritime Museum is the most identifiable building in Hull’s city centre, with three great domes and maritime references inside and out, hinting at the building’s former use as the city’s Dock Offices and now offering a fitting tribute to Hull’s remarkable maritime past. The former Dock Offices survived the bombings of two world wars and bore witness to mass recruitment of the Hull Pals during First World War in Queen Victoria Square. The building has witnessed victory celebrations and funeral possessions past its doors, including that of the E13 British submarine crew killed in neutral Danish waters in 1915.

The poppy sculptures were initially conceived as the key dramatic sculptural elements in the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in the autumn of 2014. Over the course of their time at the Tower, the two sculptures were gradually surrounded by a vast field of ceramic poppies, each one planted by a volunteer in memory of the life of a British or Colonial soldier lost during the First World War. In their original setting they captured the public imagination and were visited by over five million people.

The original installation was conceived of as transitory, the sea of poppies growing in size until the final one was planted on 11 November 2014.

Since the tour began in 2015, the sculptures have been seen by nearly two million people. Wave and Weeping Window will continue to be on view at selected locations around the UK, arriving at Imperial War Museum North and Imperial War Museum London in the autumn of 2018. The sculptures will then be gifted to the Imperial War Museums.

The installation at the Maritime Museum is expected to run from March 25th-May 29th

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