The inspiration for this design originated whilst I was walking around a sculpture park in Yorkshire. The park had many wonderful works of contemporary art but it was one of nature’s works of art that left a lasting impression on me. A meandering path through the beautiful countryside gave way to a field of red poppies gently swaying in the warm summer breeze. I was captivated by the amazing sight of those beautiful red poppy flowers, their colour was just so vivid that they almost looked out of place in the landscape.
Creative ideas came to mind with a flurry of designing possibilities filling me with excitement, but those feelings were tempered by the significance the red poppy flower has in our culture. The red poppy is a symbol of remembrance for those that gave their lives in the First World War and in subsequent wars. I felt that any design I created had to pay respect to that significant symbolism. I thought carefully about how I could create a design using stylised poppies in a way that paid respect to the significance of their meaning.
Whilst researching the design I was amazed to learn that red poppies often grow on ground that has been disturbed. Sightings during the war suggested there were large areas of landscape that were baron as a result of the battles. The baron areas were juxtaposed with areas of lush red from the growth of poppies that had been brought to life as a result of the ground being disturbed. I felt that was the essence that I wanted to capture in my design, the polar difference between the baron battlefields and the colourful emergence of the poppy flowers.
The geometric pattern I developed for the design symbolises the continuity of the earth, broken in places resulting from conflict. I wanted there to be a stark contrast in the design reflecting the landscape after the war, so I created areas of poppies symbolising remembrance and areas left open to represent the un-nurtured emptiness of those baron plains. Each design varies slightly in the application of the poppies. I also chose this special piece to use a new technique of carving into the clay to create the centre of each poppy flower to give the design extra texture and depth. On the base of each piece, I have used the very poignant words from Robert Laurence Binyon’s poem entitled For the Fallen: “We will remember them”.
The title for this design is “Passion for the Poppy”. I gave the design that title because I think that reflects how dearly we hold the symbolism of that little red flower and all that it means.
I have created the Passion for the Poppy design on my square tower shape 5” wide (approx) and 13” high (approx).
The Passion for the Poppy design is limited to 4. The recommended retail price for the Passion for the Poppy is £2,880 inc VAT.