This week, in Art, we’re beginning our Poppy Project.
Seen as we’ve been studying World War Two in our topic work, studying the poppy in art seemed like a natural step to make. But why? Why are poppies important to The Second World War? Or any war for that matter?
On the BBC Website, all about Rememberance, it says:
The poppy has a long association with Remembrance Day. But how did the distinctive red flower become such a potent symbol of our remembrance of the sacrifices made in past wars?
Scarlet corn poppies (popaver rhoeas) grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The destruction brought by the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies, growing around the bodies of the fallen soldiers.
In late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders were once again ripped open as World War One raged through Europe’s heart. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields.
The significance of the poppy as a lasting memorial symbol to the fallen was realised by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem In Flanders Fields. The poppy came to represent the immeasurable sacrifice made by his comrades and quickly became a lasting memorial to those who died in World War One and later conflicts. It was adopted by The Royal British Legion as the symbol for their Poppy Appeal, in aid of those serving in the British Armed Forces, after its formation in 1921.
So what have we been doing?
Our first lesson was all about learning the significance of the poppy and studying its shape, colour and texture. In order to do this effectively, we created our own collages based on the poppy. These included lots of materials and colours, as well as research facts about the poppy itself.
These are some of the collages we created: