3 Sisters – Birmingham Cathedral

17th March 2022

Artwork inspired by the death of the artist’s father during the pandemic has gone on display in Birmingham Cathedral and will form the focus for a Service of Reflection and Lament this Sunday (March 20) to mark the National Day of Reflection.

Artwork inspired by death of the artist’s father in the pandemic is focus for service in Birmingham Cathedral this Sunday – 3 Sisters

Artist Sarah J. Harper’s large scale installation, 3 Sisters, explores emotions that became raw and personal during the pandemic and is designed to provoke the viewer to engage in conversations around grief and bereavement.

3 Sisters Installation Birmingham Cathedral - National Day of Reflection

She writes:

“I am one of three sisters, and although very close, the pandemic jarred and challenged our relationships, rocking us and undermining our very existence.

“We felt fragile having to deal with death on a remote basis; we were not allowed to hug each other for comfort and became isolated and exhausted by restrictions imposed by this unprecedented period when we should have been together and supportive. “

Birmingham Cathedral’s Canon Missioner, Andy Delmege, said:

“We are delighted to be able to host this beautiful and poignant work as a focus for grief and lament at this time, finding love and support for one another so deeply woven into it, and pointing us towards Easter.”

3 Sisters is a woven design made from recycled fibres standing two metres high and represents one each of the siblings.  It will provide the centrepiece and focus for Sunday’s service available in person or online.

3 Sisters Installation Birmingham Cathedral - National Day of Reflection

The service will include contributions from The Reverend Canon Richard Wharton, who was Lead Chaplain at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust during the pandemic, and the artist herself with candles, music and reflections.

3 Sisters is on display in the cathedral until the end of April.  

More details of the Service of Reflection and Lament (3.30pm Sunday 20th March) are here.


Photos by Clare Langford