Schools and Community Groups Help Create Art Installation With Messages Of Peace, Love and Hope

Written on 31/03/2022

Peace Doves which will launch next month is a mass participation community arts project and has been given even greater poignancy with the invasion and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Oakwood Junior School year 3 pupils and teacher Miss Tiegan Carter

‘Peace Doves’ is a large-scale art installation created by renowned sculptor and artist Peter Walker, which will feature in Derby Cathedral between 23rd April and 12th June.

The art installation will feature 8,000 paper doves suspended on ribbons above the nave, accompanied by a tranquil soundscape from composer David Harper.

In preparation for the installation, workshops are being held across the city and county involving schools, community groups, wellbeing groups and the general public, where participants are invited to decorate the doves with their own messages of peace, love and hope. Schools across the city and county are also making their own Peace Dove displays.

The Very Reverend Dr Peter Robinson, Dean of Derby, explained that the messages behind Peace Doves were even more powerful in light of the continued crisis in Ukraine.

He said: “Our original driver for bringing ‘Peace Doves’ to Derby Cathedral was to create a unique piece which reflects the thoughts and feelings of local people from all faiths, ages and backgrounds following such a turbulent time for everyone during the pandemic.

“Now, with war escalating in Ukraine and the value that we all place on peace being uppermost in our minds, the messages behind Peace Doves have even greater poignancy.”

Artist Peter Walker concluded: “Sometimes, art has the ability to transcend just being an object and become the focus of our collective sentiments.

“It allows us not just see an artwork but to be part of it, to contemplate peace, as we think of those whose lives are so tragically affected by the many ordeals of life, from the tragic situation in Ukraine, and conflicts abroad to the many issues affecting people in this country, as well as those we love and who are close to us.”

Peace Doves at Derby Cathedral is funded by Arts Council England, Westhill Endowment, Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID), Derby City Council and Foundation Derbyshire.

Over the last few months Derby visual arts organisation Artcore have been leading workshops at various community groups such as the Indian Community Centre, Hindu Temple and Derbyshire LGBT+ Centre and various other events.

They have been engaging members from diverse communities who have decorated the doves with their own messages using language, symbols and cultural traditions to explore the ideas of love, peace and personal reflection.

‘Peace Doves’ will be unveiled to the public for the first time on Saturday 23rd April. Entry to the Cathedral will be free of charge and donations are requested which will go towards the care and work of Derby Cathedral helping to keep its doors open for all.

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