Display of 1,300 clay poppies takes over Himalayan Gardens
Last updated Apr 9, 2022
Photograph: @VisitHarrogate

A cascading installation of ceramic Himalayan blue poppies has been installed at the Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park near Ripon.

More than 1,300 of the clay poppies have been installed on a banking at the park to create an 80 square metre sculpture called ‘bursting from the slumber’.

Harrogate-based artist Anna Whitehouse was commissioned in 2019 but due to the pandemic has only been able to install the poppies in the past two weeks.

The poppies have been handmade with the help of local schools, colleges and public workshops. Each poppy has been personalised with messages about the pandemic or the names of family and friends they lost.

Ms Waterhouse said:

“This project was designed in 2019, when the idea of a global pandemic shutting down the world was still only found in the pages of a sci fi novel. As such, the sculpture has taken on a greater meaning than I could have ever imagined, a symbol of re-emergence and the power of community, with tactile clay workshops providing space for people to relax and socialise again.”

The blue poppy, known as Meconopsis, is very rare but due to the microclimate of the park it manages to grow there. The park also houses the North’s largest collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias.

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Will Roberts, owner of the Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park said:

“We are more than excited to be seeing this project come to fruition after a two-year delay due to covid. Anna has done the most amazing job designing, creating and coordinating this large installation and we want to say a huge thank you to all those who contributed to deliver such an incredible piece of art.”

The park reopens next Tuesday, April 12, until October 30.

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