Friday, 21 September 2018

Rotary Club of Henley Bridge

HENLEY ceramic artist Fiamma Montagu played a major role in last year’s Tower of London red

HENLEY ceramic artist Fiamma Montagu played a major role in last year’s Tower of London red poppy art installation, Blood Swept Fields and Seas of Red, which marked the centenary of the start of the First World War.

When Paul Cummins, the Derby artist who conceived the project, badly injured his hand after only 200,000 poppies had been made, Ms Montagu was called in to oversee the production of more than 600,000 further ceramic flowers and to help Mr Cummins with his extraordinary commemorative installation.

Ms Montagu told Rotarians and guests at their meeting last week week how, despite the scale of the project and the tight four-month time- scale, she was able to find another 200 poppy makers with the help of Johnson Tiles and Whichford Pottery which also had the right production facilities.

The large number of poppies was chosen to honour the memory of every single one of the 880,246 British and Commonwealth casualties of the war.

The last poppy was planted by an army cadet on November 11. After that date each of the unique red china flowers was sold to individual purchasers for £25, raising money for military charities such as the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and SSAFA. Chancellor George Osborne agreed to waive the VAT.



Mike Pooley gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the club, telling Ms Montagu that it had been a most moving and inspirational visual presentation.



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