2 July 2016
21 November 2015
“By Paul Cummins artist and Tom Piper Designer
“Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring from a high vantage point to the ground below. One of two sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper marking the centenary of the outbreak of war, they were initially conceived as elements in the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in 2014. They are brought to Liverpool as part of the UK-wide 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions.
“St George’s Hall sits proudly within Liverpool’s cultural quarter and its UNESCO World Heritage site. The Grade I listed building was built in 1854 and is regarded today as one of the finest examples of neo classical architecture in the world. This iconic building has long been the place for the people of Liverpool to meet at times of great sorrow and great celebration and is delighted to welcome Poppies: Weeping Window.
“During World War One, St George’s Hall became the rallying point for the famous Liverpool PALS, when speakers including Lord Derby and Lord Kitchener appealed for 100,000 men to form a new army. Men from all over the region who enlisted in Lord Derby’s PALS Battalions travelled to St George’s Hall to sign their attestment papers. Kitchener returned to Liverpool in March 1915 to inspect nine Battalions on the plateau outside the Hall.
“Weeping Window is from the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ – poppies and original concept created by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces, originally at HM Tower of London 2014.”
— Site information panel
|Date||24 November 2013|
|Location||St George’s Place, Liverpool||SJ 34978 90640; 53.40854°N, 2.97959°W|
In the early 19th century there were calls for the building of a concert hall in the city centre to host Liverpool’s triennial music festivals. In 1838, in celebration of Queen Victoria’s coronation, the foundation stone of the new hall was laid on the site of the former Liverpool Infirmary, close to the newly opened Lime Street railway station.
The following year a design competition for the concert hall was won by Harvey Lonsdale Elmes, a young London-based architect. Elmes also won a separate competition for the design of new law courts for the city. The two projects were later combined and Elmes produced a Greek- and Roman-inspired neo-classical design for St George’s Hall as a venue for concerts and also as home to the Crown and Civil courts. Construction of the hall started in 1841, but Elmes was never to see its completion, dying from tuberculosis in 1847. Charles Robert Cockerell took over as architect in 1851 and the building opened in 1854.
The courts moved to other premises in 1984, after which time the hall was neglected and fell into disrepair. A £23m programme to restore the Grade I listed building was started in 2000 and St George’s Hall was officially re-opened in 2007. It is currently home to Liverpool Register Office and a heritage centre, and it used as a venue for events such as concerts, conferences, exhibitions and receptions.