Mixing art with significant events

I hummed and ahed about this post, should I do it or would it seem a bit crass.  In the end I decided that art has always attempted to represent humanity at its best and at its worst.  Including those terrible events of world wars. Therefore it should be ok for me to add my humble token to the ever enlarging pool of art about conflicts between humans.


So here goes:


I have been attempting to grow flanders poppies for some time, the first effort failed as the plants died while we were away.  This year I have finally succeeded in growing two batches of poppies.  The first is a very impoverished batch due mostly to poor quality soil and minimal water.  The flowers that resulted are very delicate with needle thin stems just strong enough to hold the bright red flowers up for the world to see.  On seeing how delicate they are I realised that in their own way they represented the fragility of humans, especially in times of great conflict and in particular the frailty of soldiers caught up in the horror of trench warfare that the first world war delivered.


I choose two poppies to photograph because for me that represents the mate-ship of soldiers at arms, their dependence on their mates to look out for each other.  I know that just a few weeks away is Remembrance  Day here and that the Flanders Poppy is the symbol used to represent our day of remembering their sacrifice.


I do hope that the message contained in the image will help remind us that war is something to be avoided.



10 thoughts on “Mixing art with significant events

  1. Johann Briffa

    For some reason poppies always seem to me too delicate to stand up. These look even more so! Great lighting, as usual 🙂

  2. Henrietta Richer

    It’s a beautiful image and looks like an intricate painting, which is always a plus for me. As a poppy grower you may be able to answer a question that’s been bugging me. Two years ago the cornfields here were covered in poppies. This year I was looking forward to photographing them with my new DLSR, but there were no poppies to speak of. I can’t figure out why. The obvious supposition is that they’d been blizzed with pesticide, but why would the farmers suddenly do that?

    1. johnholding Post author

      Thanks Henrietta, I don’t really know much about poppies but maybe the farmers don’t like the poppy seeds mixed with their other grains. Normally the silo’s test for grain purity or they do here.

  3. suzjones

    I think your photo is stunning and like your imagery and accompanying words. I have a packet of Flanders Poppies that I bought from the War Memorial up on my shelf but I haven’t planted them out yet. You’ve inspired me to do so.

  4. johnholding Post author

    Thank you Suz, I planted mine in two pots during winter and let nature take its course. The one I like best so far are those from the poorly nourished pot, they have such a delicacy.


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