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Building bridges through art

A recent visit to Chichester has reminded me that art can build bridges between individuals and community.

Until this Sunday (12th November 2023), you can see Peter Walker’s large scale installation of approximately 10,000 hanging paper doves in Chichester Cathedral. Over one hundred schools and community groups across West Sussex, as well as the general public, have participated by writing a message of peace, love and hope on a paper dove.

The exhibition can next be seen in St Alban’s Cathedral from 3rd January to 13th February 2024.

I hope that the messages I and others wrote in Chichester Cathedral will become part of the next installation. Long may the peace doves fly!

The second bridge-building exhibition was in Pallant House. It showed examples of Pallant House gallery’s print collection and some ceramics which were selected by members of the charity “Sanctuary”, which supports local refugees and asylum seekers.

Participants came from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iran, Rwanda and Ukraine. They shared their responses to the chosen pieces through accompanying labels. It was touching how some people were able to connect with their homeland and experiences through work that was created in Europe in a different context.

The chosen art included abstract pieces, landscapes and people – it reminded me that we are all individuals and connect to different pieces of art.

The free exhibition is located in the Print Room on the ground floor and can be visited until 4th February 2024.

I would love for my work to contribute to building bridges, offering hope, fresh vision and healing. I may never know whether or not this is achieved, especially once a work has left my studio - but to know that art can be a force for good in the world is encouraging.


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