Poppies to be 'centrepiece for Peace' at Caernarfon Castle for 2016

WCIA's Wales for Peace project are delighted to have been successful in a joint bid with Caernarfon Castle, CADW and the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum to bring the iconic Tower of London Poppies to Wales for Remembrance Day 2016.

Caernarfon Castle is the first location in Wales to host Poppies: Weeping Window by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, and managed by 14-18NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions. Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies, and was originally seen pouring from a high window to the ground below at the Tower of London as part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. The sculpture can currently be seen at St George’s Hall, Liverpool until 16 January 2016. The poppies will be displayed at Caernarfon Castle from 12 October to 20 November 2016

Part of the Gwynedd World Heritage Site, Caernarfon Castle will host a number of First World War commemoration events over the remaining three years of the Centenary, contributing to the Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 national centenary programme of remembrance. It is home to the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, housed in two of its towers, and was as a result considered by 14-18NOW, presenters of the poppies, an appropriate and relevant site to host the exhibition and supporting programme of activities, which will be managed and developed in conjunction with the Royal Welch Fusiliers and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs’ Wales for Peace” programme.

Craig Owen, Head of Wales for Peace, said "the poppies are an iconic installation and Caernarfon an iconic location, to which we hope to bring a distinct Welsh focus on Remembering for Peace. 35,000 Welsh men and women gave their lives - the loss of a generation symbolised by local Welsh war poet Hedd Wyn, from nearby Trawsfynydd, who fell with many other Royal Welch Fusiliers at Passchendaele in 1917. 

The horrific impact of war - on survivors of the trenches and on Welsh communities - led to formation of peace movements, such as the Urdd, that have shaped Wales' national psyche to this day. As the poppies cascade from Caernarfon Castle for Remembrance Day 2016, we look forward to working with schools and community groups to explore how, in the 100 years since WW1, ordinary people across Wales have contributed to the search for peace - and to explore peace today and for future generations."

WCIA's Wales for Peace team will facilitate:

  • 'Remembering for Peace' Exhibition, enabling visitors to interact with the First World War Book of Remembrance and its recent voluntary transcription. View the digitised Book of Remembrance on People's Collection Wales 
  • Educational Resources, Schools Workshops and activities Wales-wide, including a WW1 Schools Conference on 'Remembering for Peace' to coincide with the Poppies presentation.
  • Hidden Histories workshops and training with volunteers Wales-wide, supporting local communities to discover how they have contributed to the search for peace in the 100 years since the First World War. 
  • Public Debates and Events exploring Wales' peace heritage and its relevance to the world today - including community events and university lecture series.
  • Community Arts installations in response to the poppies, as an Act of Remembrance focused on peace for future generations.
  • Youth and student participation through study projects, local and international volunteering, exchanges and Wales' international Message of Peace and Goodwill.     

As well as CADW and RWFM, WCIA will be working closely with Gwynedd-based Yr Ysgwrn (home of Welsh war poet Hedd Wyn), the Lloyd George Museum, National Library of Wales and Urdd Gobaith Cymru (the Welsh youth movement) to deliver this exciting programme of activities, which we hope will bring a new angle to the UK Poppies Tour which strikes a distinctly Welsh chord. 

If you or your community group would like to be involved, or for further information, please visit www.walesforpeace.org, email walesforpeace@wcia.org.uk or you can ring WCIA on 02920821051 (Cardiff) or 01248 672104 (Bangor). 

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