Poppies and Installation Art



The Tower of London installation lit up at night


We’re knitting again! Well Charlotte is anyway! With it being the centenary of WW1 and Remembrance Day this week, Charlotte knitted herself a poppy! This year it seems the knitted or homemade poppy’s popularity has risen. The ‘Big Poppy Knit’ from BBC Radio Nottingham has supplied patterns for crochet & knitted poppies, with numerous other woolly poppy campaigns, projects and patterns appearing widely, raising money for the Poppy Appeal. Over at Hythe (Southampton) a memorial display of over 4000 knitted poppies has been placed on railings!



Charlotte’s poppy



Poppy installation at Hythe










Installation art seems to be popping up everywhere to recognise the War Centenary and promote remembrance. Locally, we have box 459. A box usually situated at the Cathedral, has been moved to outside the front of Abbey House in Winchester. The box was designed by local design firm, AR Design and has 459 beams of light, which represent the fallen from the districts of Winchester. The lights have been switched on and the box will tour the Winchester districts for the next four years, before returning to its home at the Cathedral again.

Box 459  with its lights switched on

Box 459 with its lights switched on

Box 459, outside Abbey House

Box 459, outside Abbey House













In Trafalgar Square, an interactive statue has been placed as part of a collaborative project with artist Mark Humphreys and The Royal British Legion, to commemorate the fallen during the War. The poppies are blown around, allowing them to rise and fall around the soldier. Better known, perhaps, is the installation at the Tower of London, ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’. A total of 888,246 (the number of British fatalities) ceramic poppies have been planted in the moat surrounding the tower. The installation, by Paul Cummins, began in August and has organically grown over the months with volunteers, military veterans, Government figures and Royalty, paying tribute and planting the poppies.


Every Man Remembrance statue at Trafalgar Square

Every Man Remembrance statue at Trafalgar Square

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London

‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ installation at the Tower of London









The poppy has been a symbol of remembrance since the first Armistice Day in 1921, when the Poppy Appeal began.  In just two years, in November 1924, 27 million poppies had been produced, which has continued to grow and last year 40 million poppies were made! The combined efforts of such a strong symbol with installation art has created something truly beautiful. From the rise of the crafts to large scale spectacle, the poppy’s meaning is delivered with significant impact, emotion and memory.


Find resources for installation art in Library One at 709.04074

For more information about the Tower of London installation here and for a free knit and crochet poppy pattern go here!


Robynne Willowby, November 2014