To commemorate the centennial of Britain’s involvement in the First World War, ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper conceived of a staggering installation of ceramic poppies planted in the famous dry moat around the Tower of London.
Titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” the final work will consist of 888,246 red ceramic flowers, each representing a British or Colonial military fatality.
For the past few weeks, a team of 150 volunteers has been placing red ceramic poppies one by one around the Tower (this was written on July 31st, 2014). Crawford Butler, the longest serving Yeoman Warden, also known as beefeater, planted the first ceramic poppy. The last poppy will be symbolically planted on the last day of the installation: November 11, Armistice Day.