The last time I visited a museum prior to the pandemic was at the San Jose Museum of Art, where a friend had put together an event featuring mixture of poetry and music. During a break between the sets of performances, I wandered the exhibits, checking out what the museum had on display.
When I wander through a museum, I observe it from my own subjective point of view, not much caring whether the work is considered important or interesting from a cultural or historical perspective. I look for work that speaks to me, that hooks something deep within my chest and tugs.
That night, I found myself standing before Louise Nevelson’s Sky Cathedral, a found wood sculpture comprised of architectural elements, crates, and other pieces, assembled into geometric chambers and painted entirely black. It captivated me immediately.
During my trip to London, I was fortunate to be able to visit the Tower while the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation of ceramic poppies was on display. Each of the 888,246 poppies that fills the moat represented a British military fatality during the WWI.
The view of the poppies pouring out of one of the Tower windows and filling the moat with bright red is inspiring, whether you know the meaning or not. It’s an installation to make passersby stop and take pause, and it’s no wonder that every walkway surrounding the Tower was thick with people doing just that.
The moat has since been emptied of the poppies and I am grateful for the lucky timing that allowed me to witness this spectacular remembrance of fallen soldiers.