Jessica Rose's Tower of London

In 2014 the Tower of London marked the centenary of the outbreak of The First World War with the commemorative art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, which saw the moat filled with thousands of ceramic poppies. These individually fragile objects created a strong and striking carpet of red when they were planted in the Tower of London’s moat.


I wanted to record this amazing piece of art (created by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper) before it was removed so I made a series of paintings, in both oil and watercolour. It’s been really gratifying that many of the people who’ve bought these paintings have done so because they wanted companion pieces for their own ceramic poppies, which had formed part of the Tower of London installation.




This particular painting is a watercolour but I have given it more body by using mixed media, including texture paste and glass bead gel to give texture to the poppies and castle walls. One of the brilliant things about watercolour is that you can slosh semi-transparent washes across the painting, which is perfect for creating the effect of a carpet of poppies.


As a painter I work predominantly in watercolour and I am also a printmaker, specialising in etching and linocut. I live in London, although I’m originally from the West Midlands. My work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy summer exhibition and at open exhibitions by the Society of Women Artists, Chelsea Art Society and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.