Blood Swept Fields and Seas of Red

PRODUCER for Paul Cummins and HRP 'Blood Swept Fields and Seas of Red' - installation for The Tower of London 2014 centenary of commencement of WW1.

I have been working with the artist Paul Cummins over the last months to help him produce the extraordinary installation 'Blood Swept Fields and Seas of Red'.

From the outset, the scale of the project seemed daunting. In terms of the ceramic poppies themselves, we have had to add a further 200 poppy makers in addition to the original team in Derby and have scoured the country for people prepared to dedicate themselves to this. I was lucky to find some wonderful and knowledgeable teams at both Whichford and Johnson tiles.

The Tower of London have been besieged with offers of help to the installation, with people flying in from overseas just so that they could volunteer to plant poppies for one day. We currently have 400 volunteers a week now.

Every day as the installation has grown, there has been a huge outpouring of stories from people with relatives who were in the war, as well as from those who are just grateful that there has been a major and fitting commemoration for the centenary. 

For myself, when I first heard about this project I was very impressed by the scale of its ambition and the precise emotional message it wanted to convey.

So please do find time to visit it while it is here. The last poppy will be planted on November 11 2014 and the de-installation will start immediately, so that all who have helped this installation to happen, can receive their poppies.