Poppies: Wave

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red (detail) at Tower of London
© Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces
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Wave by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. Courtesy 14-18 NOW and YSP
Photo Nigel Roddis
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Wave by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. Courtesy 14-18 NOW and YSP
Photo Nigel Roddis
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Wave by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. Courtesy 14-18 NOW and YSP
Photo Nigel Roddis
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Wave Installation at Tower of London
© Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces
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Wave Installation at Tower of London
© Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces
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05.09.15 - 10.01.16
14-18 NOW and Yorkshire Sculpture Park present Wave as part of a UK-wide tour of the iconic poppy sculptures.

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More Information

Wave is a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks; Weeping Window (to be shown at Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland and St George’s Hall, Liverpool) is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring from a high window to the ground below. These two sculptures, by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, created to mark the centenary of the outbreak of war, are now brought to audiences at venues across the country as part of the 14-18 NOW programme. As with all of 14-18 NOW's projects, the presentation of these sculptures to new audiences across the United Kingdom aims to prompt a new, nationwide dialogue around the legacy of the First World War.
The breathtaking 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 and 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. On completion, however, it was agreed that the works of art at the heart of this broader act of memorial should be preserved for the nation. 14-18 NOW is grateful to the Backstage Trust and Clore Duffield Foundation for their support in securing these sculptures for posterity. For the remainder of the 14-18 NOW programme, Wave and Weeping Window will be on view at selected locations around the United Kingdom. They will then be gifted to the Imperial War Museums and displayed during the autumn of 2018 at IWM North and IWM London. 

Wave is presented in YSP’s historic Lower Lake, a 1km walk from the main visitor centre and car park. Nearby surroundings include sculptures by world-class artists Anthony Caro, Antony Gormley and Julian Opie, alongside heritage features such as the Bretton Estate’s grand mansion house and the historic Cascade Bridge. A shuttle bus will be available, along with accessible parking for Blue Badge holders. A complementary events and learning programme will accompany the installation. 

Wave is from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Poppies and original concept: Paul Cummins. Installation design: Tom Piper. By Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces at HM Tower of London 2014. Presented by 14-18 NOW and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Tell us how the Poppies make you feel with our Poppies Word Cloud

Due to heavy rainfall within the region over recent weeks, the water in Upper and Lower Lake has risen to high levels. The strong current over Cascade Bridge, and resulting accumulation of debris, unfortunately caused minor damage and displacement to some of the lower sections of the Poppies: Wave sculpture. The vast majority of the sculpture is intact and remains open for viewing. 

Download the Poppies leaflet to find out more about Wave at YSP
Join the conversation with #PoppiesTour

A daily shuttle bus service is available to transfer visitors between YSP Centre, YSP Learning and the Boat House. The service runs approximately every 20 minutes between 10am and 4pm. Delays may occur during busy periods.

Read more to find out everything you need to know ahead of your visit to YSP.

We are looking for outdoor Visitor Experience volunteers for the duration of the exhibition (and beyond). Find out more



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So pleased that this display is coming to our Sculpture Park. Can't wait to see it!
I Stephenson on Poppies: Wave | See all (29) comments
Such fantastic news. What a coup for YSP and how amazing The Wave will look rising from the lake. Jacky Hobson on Poppies: Wave
Agreed - looking forward to seeing the display. Was fortunate enough to have been able to buy one from the Tower installation. A piece of history to cherish Rod Hodgson on Poppies: Wave
Can't wait to come & see the Poppies. We wanted to go see them at The Tower of London but never managed to get there. Great that they're coming north to Yorkshire. Janet Bebb on Poppies: Wave
Really looking forward to seeing these in Yorkshire was so disappointed I never got chance to see them in London x Sharon on Poppies: Wave
This should be quite a spectacle And the perfect place to display this! Cannot wait to see it! 😊 Paula Williams on Poppies: Wave
I am really happy that this work is coming to YSP. I missed it in London and this is such a fantastic opportunity Julie Hunt on Poppies: Wave
Really looking forward to seeing this as they dismantled the display early in London so we missed it. Roy Taylor on Poppies: Wave
Couldn't get to see this in London. So pleased that it is coming to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Well done, YSP. Hoping to see it at least once. Kathryn E on Poppies: Wave
Whoever chose the spot for the installation certainly knows Bretton. Saw them beginning the installation on Sunday – will be back in the winter to see it in all its glory. Probably best after a week of hard frost. Tim Wright on Poppies: Wave
Fantastic news about the Poppies: Wave coming to Yorkshire Sculpture Park – cannot wait to see this. Jane Wood on Poppies: Wave
Great for Yorkshire and YSP, can't wait to see it Josie on Poppies: Wave
Can't wait to see these poppies. I missed them in London and I thought I would never have the opportunity to see them. I am so grateful to have this second opportunity and will certainly be paying a visit next Saturday and maybe a few more times after that to make sure I get to see enough of them. Thank you YSP for giving this opportunity to myself and all the other northerners that could not make it to London. Heather on Poppies: Wave
I am looking forward to visiting, Bretton is a beautiful place and holds fond memories, the poppies will bring peace and beauty to all who make the journey to see them. Val on Poppies: Wave
Absolutely spectacular. Well done Andrea C on Poppies: Wave
What a wonderful venue for this exhibit. Very moving. Christina Strattin on Poppies: Wave
Took my 91 year old father today. The staff operating the shuttle bus were superb and provided a wheelchair to ensure dad got close to the poppies Janet – Wakefield on Poppies: Wave
Cant wait to come and view the poppies Angela Kirk-Ashby on Poppies: Wave
Very pleased to see that the display is to be exhibited in the north of England. I was able to travel to London to see the Blood Swept lands installation but many people from our area were not able to. Thank you for making accessible to us all. Janet Cox on Poppies: Wave
Visited yesterday. What an amazing display, so glad we made the effort. Angela Price on Poppies: Wave
We visited on Thursday, arriving early and so had a wonderful view on a sunny morning. I'm sure it won't be our last visit. Feel lucky to live near the YSP Sheila Roy on Poppies: Wave
Visited yesterday lovely sunny day and exhibit very thought provoking. Jo and Sandy Gillan on Poppies: Wave
Wow what an amazing trip to see the poppies with my very elderly parents! Massive thanks to your wonderful bus driver Michael who was so much help! The lady on the bridge near the poppies who also was a big help! It was a dream come true to get my parents even close to the poppies! Thank you Mandy Daws on Poppies: Wave
This installation brings to life the pity of a war that was by no means great involving as it did the decimation of a generation – and the young people ask what were they fighting for – and I ask myself the same question Steve Halliday on Poppies: Wave
Tried to see the poppies but at 85 the distance was too much for him and the mini bus was so busy we couldn't stay that long. What we were able to see was a credit to you Sandra Saville on Poppies: Wave
Beautiful, the way the wave reaches out over the lip of the cascade, the many poppies falling away until only a few remain, reaching out, not to be ignored, not to be forgotten. Nick Wright on Poppies: Wave
Went to see the poppy display today well done YSP it's a great memorial to service men and women who have served to protect our country in all conflicts around the world Chris Lang on Poppies: Wave
Absolutely magnificent, awesome. Less we forget Patricia Lawless on Poppies: Wave
My view on the Poppies Wave is that it is peaceful place to stand near Ben Owen on Poppies: Wave

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