Derby artist's work chosen to lead the nation's First World War commemorations in London

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Derby artist's work chosen to lead the nation's First World War commemorations in London

Date posted: 18 February 2014

Artwork created by University of Derby graduate and ceramicist Paul Cummins has been chosen as the country's lead project marking the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The artwork will consist of 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the war, and will be located at the Tower of London.

Paul and his team, many of who are also University of Derby graduates, are hard at work producing the poppies at his studio in Derby's Pride Park. Many of the suppliers for the project are also based in the city.

The poppies will form part of an installation which was instigated and designed by Paul, in collaboration with Royal Shakespeare Company stage designer, Tom Piper.

It will be unveiled at the Tower on August 5, 2014, one hundred years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War.

The scale of the installation - which will be the size of three football pitches - is designed to reflect the magnitude of the event. Millions are expected to see the poppies, which will form the focal point of the national commemoration.

Paul graduated in 2010 with a BA (Hons) Crafts degree and is now undertaking a PhD at Derby.

He said: "This is a huge task and I am fortunate to have a great team working with me to ensure that everything goes according to plan. I am also in talks with the University to involve current students in the development of the project, making it a truly Derby-made piece of work."

Professor John Coyne, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: "We are immensely proud of Paul's success, which began as a prize winning student. I am particularly delighted that he hasn't had to look much further than Derby to provide him with the expert team he needs to deliver this significant national project."

For further press information please contact Alice Oliver, University of Derby Head of Corporate Relations, on 01332 592032 or email:

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