Blog

The evolving story of Poppies: Women and War

19 May 2016 by Sam

close up detail of a bright orange poppy

© Lee Karen Stow

There is not long left to catch the incredibly moving and inspiring exhibition Poppies: Women and War, which closes on 5 June 2016 at the Museum of Liverpool before going on tour. Photographer Lee Karen Stow reflects on the exhibition and her plans for the future in her latest blog:

“As the Poppies: Women and War exhibition comes to a close at the Museum of Liverpool, so the poppy flowers begin to bud and bloom in the gardens and fields of England. I’ve planted a few seeds and plants myself this spring, to see and capture the pink, tangerine, blue and black poppies.

For this story is evolving. As I focus even more closely on the structure and make-up of poppies in the family Papaveraceae, I am also zooming out wider into the world to follow the stories of women of Vietnam, Cambodia, Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland, the Balkans, the Falklands. The exhibition itself will be re-configured as ‘Poppies: Women, War, Peace’, and tours to venues in Hull, York and culminating in Georgia, US for the 2018 centenary of the poppy symbol.

It’s an ambitious plan, but I am encouraged to continue this work because of the substantial feedback and engagement of the viewers who came to the exhibition in Liverpool, Many followed the blogs and tweets, and wrote to me direct, giving feedback, and offering thoughts and suggestions. One viewer wrote in the comments’ book:

“Dignity through adversity is the theme of this exhibition.”

poppy by sculpture of woman raising her arms

© Lee Karen Stow

Thank you for understanding the message of this work, through stories of women courageous enough to share their stories and have their faces printed large on a wall in a public place. Thank you to everyone who is part of this ongoing documentary.

A special thank you to the Museum of Liverpool for giving this story a bright, stunning, yet intimate space. It was created with the enthusiasm, energy and vision of the design and curating team. What I love about Liverpool is that it listens and respects both the artist and their work.

On that note, I end this blog with a spectacular tangerine poppy that appeared this week in the garden of Yorkshire sculptor and ceramist, Marie Lofthouse. Marie’s mother, Huguette Court-Thomas who was widowed in the Second World War, features in the exhibition. The poppy grows beneath a sculpture of a woman throwing her arms up to the sky.”

(Comments are closed for this post.)



About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

Subscribe

RSS RSS Feed

Disclaimer

We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.