The image of the red poppies of Flanders’ Fields is a powerful symbol for Canadians. Beginning with a haunting poem written by a Canadian soldier who died in World War I, the image now commemorates our collective experience with many other armed conflicts around the world.
We are collecting handmade poppies for a large art installation meant to honour all members of our Canadian family who have had experience with the horrors of war.
We are hoping to make a large blanket, covered with handmade red poppies, to be displayed in a prominent public place and to be a focal point of remembrance. In contrast to professionally comissioned artworks, this piece will be created and put together by regular Canadian citizens and will incorporate messages from their hearts. We envision that the messages and dedications accompanying the poppies will be collected in a “memory book” that will be displayed with the blanket.
As we do not know how many people will participate, there is some fluidity in how the actual project will be assembled. This depends largely on how many poppies we receive.
We estimate that it takes about 10 poppies to cover a square foot. So for reference, if we receive 500 poppies, our blanket would be a 5ft x 10fx size. We do not know yet where our piece will be displayed, because that depends on how big it ends up being. If – let’s dream big here – we receive thousands of poppies, we would really like the piece to go to Ottawa. Perhaps this will become a “living” tradition, with more submissions worked in every year. Maybe local blankets will be created… Contact us if you would like to collaborate on a local project in your area.
We hope that this project strikes a chord with our fellow Canadians, because we believe that a communal, participatory creative project like this is very moving.