Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

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Not a photographic exhibition but the art installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies at The Tower of London may prove to be the most visited and photographed temporary piece of art in Europe this year. Designed by Tom Piper with the poppies made by Paul Cummins it is breathtaking in scale and very moving. I reject Jonathan Jones’ view that it is too pretty to be a reminder of the horrors and war and doubt that this was the designer and the artist’s message. My response was to recognise that each poppy represented a life, nearly exclusively a young life, and that this is a rare opportunity to see every single one of the British and Commonwealth dead of the First World War commemorated in a single place. It has shades of Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seeds where he was representing millions of individuals not a single entity andthis work needs be viewed in the same way.

My photos don’t do it justice but it was worth the 6:00 am start this morning to beat the crowds.

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