Tel: 01636 555033
We've Got Newark and Sherwood Covered


Minster hosts poignant artwork inspired by coronavirus pandemic

Posted onPosted on 29th Apr

Southwell Minster is hosting an artwork installation by internationally-acclaimed sculptor Peter Walker.

The Leaves of the Trees is a reflective memorial to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

A simple but moving artwork, creating a moment of connection and calm, the thought-provoking installation will be at the minster from 11th May to 6th June.

The project is designed to link directly to the sentiments of those who have experienced the pandemic, both those who have lost loved ones and those additionally or personally affected.

The Leaves of the Trees comprise 5,000 five-inch leaves, each cut from 1mm mild steel, chosen as the material for the leaves to remind us of our resilience and collective strength. The leaves will slowly change from steel to rusted tones as the leaves gradually change colour over the period of the tour, just as the leaves of trees do when they fall each year.

Each leaf, individually carved with the word HOPE, will be laid out on the floor, creating a beautiful cascading impression of autumn leaves fallen from the trees, appearing as though naturally scattered by the wind. The leaves symbolise the past, what has transpired, as we hope for a better future.

The Very Rev Nicola Sullivan, Dean of Southwell, said: “We have all been affected by the terrible impact of the pandemic.

“We have had so few ways to grieve and Peter Walker’s simple but powerful installation will help us find healing and hope amidst our tears and loss. This is for everyone — whatever age or faith, and we invite everyone to come to their Cathedral for moments of quiet reflection.”

Peter Walker added: “Over the past 12 months we have collectively seen many of the things we take for granted, moved out of reach, and confronted by challenges, personal, national and international which have not been experienced for generations.

“Yet despite this, and despite the hardships, loss and difficulties, there has been hope. Hope exposed as glimpses of individual endeavour, kindness and service, hope as revealed by nature and the joy that it brings and hope which human ingenuity and resolve has revealed.

“The Leaves of the Trees installation is designed to provide an opportunity to take a moment out of our lives and to reflect on our individual and collective experience and to allow us to recall that there is hope, in its many manifestations, which is ever more visible to us through kindness, faith, science and family.”

Richard Huthwaite, business manager – tourism, Newark and Sherwood District Council, which has helped to part-fund the installation, said: “Newark and Sherwood District Council is very pleased to support this unique and inspiring installation at Southwell Minster — the perfect setting for such a beautiful and contemplative creation.

“In these most challenging of times, the memorial will give people a valuable opportunity to both honour those lost to the pandemic and look forward with a sense of togetherness and hope.”