Hull 2017: The Poppies

The latest art installation in Queen Victoria’s Square is now in place and it quickly became as popular on social media as the Blade was.

The Weeping Window Poppies will be in Hull city centre until May 14th, and if you’re in the area, you simply must go see them.

When these ceramic poppies were installed in the Tower of London, they became a talking point all over the capital and the country. As part of a commemoration programme celebrating the centenary of the First World War, they are now on the move, and 5000 of the poppies have gracefully landed in Hull; aptly outside the Maritime Museum.

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Obviously I’m trying to write about these for you, and words to describe them include vast, graceful, emotive, cascading, vibrant.

But upon first seeing them when walking in from Jameson Street, they took my breath away. It is such a powerful piece of art. Just like the Blade, the scale of it really impacts on the square. If you’re not from Hull or have never been, let me tell you, Queen Vicky’s square isn’t big! Don’t go thinking that this is on par with Trafalgar Square!

Any time something enters this space, whether it’s the Blade or the Christmas tree, it does dominate it. But there was something different about the Poppies. Obviously, physically, they’re down the side of a building, so they’re not in the way, like I felt the Blade and like (year on year) I think the Christmas tree is.

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Look up. That’s what the series of these installations and sculptures is being called. Look up from the ground, look up from your iPhones. You know what? It’s working. People are stopping. People are looking. I even saw a West Ham fan in town for the football stopping to look at the Poppies. Take all the photos of them, share them. Share what they mean.

Once again, I’m so proud of our City of Culture. The first season of the Hull 2017 programme, Made in Hull, has now ended, and we have moved into Roots to Routes. I’m already looking forward to the next three months of season 2.

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Have you been to see the Poppies? I’d love to know what you think, please leave a comment.

Poppies: Weeping Window is in town until May 14th. For more information on the Poppies, Roots to Routes, and Hull 2017, please go here

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