The Silk Mill to host iconic poppy sculpture as part of 14-18 NOW tour

Derby City Council and partners are pleased to announce that they will present Weeping Window by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper as part of 14-18 NOW’s UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies.  The installation will be at The Silk Mill from 9 June to 23 July 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. During the First World War, Derby Silk Mill was divided into two businesses one grinding corn and the other making medical supplies, both integral to the British war effort and scarce by 1916. Derby as a whole played a vital part in production during the course of the First World War with Rolls-Royce developing the Eagle Engine at the request of the government to power allied aircraft. As Derby Silk Mill: Museum of Making the museum now holds a great number of industrial and social history objects which help to tell the stories of Derby’s companies and its communities.

Leader of Derby City Council, Ranjit Banwait, said, “I’m delighted that Derby will be hosting this iconic sculpture at a site with such historic importance. Across the country we have seen the installation attract hundreds of thousands of people and now we can be proud that it is coming to Derby. I have to thank all of the team including Pauline Latham OBE MP who have helped put the bid together, so the Weeping Window can be displayed in the city where the artist Paul Cummins went to university.”

Tony Butler Executive Director of Derby Museums said.“We are honoured to be hosting Weeping Window at Derby Silk Mill. Many of the poppies were made in Derby and it’s fitting that they will be shown here at the site of the world’s first factory.”

Pauline Latham OBE MP, said. “This is a fantastic coup for Derby and the Silk Mill and will bring thousands of visitors to the City to experience the power of the Poppies for themselves.  The Cathedral Quarter is a wonderfully fitting site where visitors will be able to reflect on the experiences of Derby's people 100 years ago.   I am delighted that all the teams’ hard work is resulting in such a very special celebration of Paul and Tom's work.  I am so pleased Derby City Council have agreed to be the presenting partner to bring the poppies to the city.”

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.

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said. “The poppies have captivated millions of people across the UK, and we are delighted to present Weeping Window at the Silk Mill in Derby 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.”

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.

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