Good morning poppy friends.
Today we are incredibly excited about the announcement last night that 5000 Poppies has collaborated with acclaimed landscape designer Phillip Johnson to create a spectacular 5000 Poppies installation for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 in London in May this year.
Sponsored by the Victorian Government through the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Department of Veterans Affairs … we will be taking more than a kilometre of poppies to Chelsea.
Phillips wonderful design is stunning in it’s simplicity … and will no doubt be a highlight of the show. This magnificent artists impression by Colin Johnson shows you the size and scope of the installation with the incredible backdrop of the Chelsea Hospital … it’s going to be SPECTACULAR.
The story behind the project is amazing as most of you already know.
From humble beginnings … where Marg and I set out to crochet 120 poppies to honour our fathers’ service in WWII … Marg’s father Stan Knight was a British Soldier who fought in Europe and my father Wal Beasley an Australian Infantryman who fought in New Guinea.
As they say … from little things big things grow.
On Anzac Day last year we “planted” more than quarter of a million poppies in Fed Square in Melbourne and on Princes Bridge for our Anzac Day marchers to march through … what an incredible honour.
More than 50,000 contributors of all ages and cultural backgrounds have created a stunning selection of handcrafted poppies using many and varied techniques … knitted, crocheted, felted, stitched, beaded, tatted, embroidered, paper, ceramic and mixed media. And who can forget our stunning “Gratitude” sculpture by Adrian Egglestone and his wonderful team at Uniweld Engineering which has now found a permanent home at Ward 17 (PTSD Ward) at Heidelberg Repat … perfect.
And now we are off to Chelsea.
It’s a dream that I never thought would come true when Former Victorian Premier and Chairman of the Anzac Centenary Committee asked where I would like to see the poppies go … way back in 2013. At that time … almost as a throwaway line I said … “really Ted, they belong on the world stage … I think we should take them to Chelsea”. Not surprisingly … Ted knew just the guy to help us make it happen … that’s when Phillip came on board.
And here we are …
We have so many people to thank … not the least of which of course is those we made this tribute for … our servicemen and women, their families and the communities … and then our incredible contributors who just keep working and giving their skills and their time and bearing the burden of the costs of being involved, and those people and organisations who have supported us financially … so incredibly generous of you. And not forgetting those wonderful people in many many communities around Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the world who have created their own wonderful local community tributes using the 5000 Poppies project as inspiration.
A big thank you to Federation Square for supporting us and providing us with such a spectacular space to showcase our wonderful installation.
And importantly, a HUGE thank you also Phillip Johnson and the amazing team at Phillip Johnson Landscapes for taking our wonderful vision and massaging into something truly beautiful, and of course thank you especially to the Victorian Government and all those many who have contributed to the success of this amazing tribute.
Woohoo … we are going to Chelsea!!!
Lynn and Marg xxx