Derbyshire community project to create Peace Doves artwork for cathedral

A mass participation community arts project in Derbyshire has been given even greater poignancy with the invasion and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 5:30 am

‘Peace Doves’ is a large-scale art installation created by renowned sculptor and artist Peter Walker, which will feature in Derby Cathedral between April 23 and June 12, 2022.

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 involving 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 county are also making their own Peace Dove displays.

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Peter Walker's Peace Doves sculpture at Lichfield Cathedral.

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

“It allows us not just to 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 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.

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