COP26 – Butterflies

12th November 2021

It’s the final day of COP26 … here is another example of how our cathedrals are exploring ways we can all protect our fragile earth.

Salisbury Cathedral: Butterflies take flight at Sarum Lights: Heaven and Earth

Butterflies bearing visitors’ hopes and prayers for the future will take flight in Salisbury Cathedral – part of a community project that explores the role we can all play in protecting the earth.

The butterfly installation forms part of Sarum Lights: Heaven and Earth, a light and sound art installation created by Luxmuralis that coincides with the final week of the UN Climate Summit (COP26).

The light show takes visitors on an immersive journey inside and outside the cathedral that celebrates the wonders of Heaven and Earth through a series of projections that show the beauty of our planet and the universe. It runs until Saturday 13 November.

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It is inspired by a passage in Genesis when God invites Abraham to look up at the stars and reflect on his legacy:

He brought him outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.” Genesis 15.5

Using sound and music to express the awe that Abraham must have felt looking up into the night sky, the Luxmuralis team hope to capture the viewer’s imagination, using different light and music spaces created on the West Front, in the Cloisters and in the Cathedral itself to remind us what an amazing world we live in.

COP26 Final Day

Canon Robert Titley, who leads the Cathedral’s visual arts programme:

“As the nations of the world gather for November’s climate summit in Glasgow, the ravishing sights and sounds of Sarum Lights show us what is at stake. 

“Our universe is gloriously bigger than we can comprehend, and our corner of it is equally glorious – but also fragile. We hope visitors to this ancient wonder of a building will come away from Heaven and Earth wondering at God’s creation and wanting to care for it better.

Salisbury Cathedral became the first Church of England Cathedral to achieve the A Rocha Eco Church Gold Award earlier this year. – one more step towards its pledge to be carbon neutral by 2023.

Photo credits: Tom Gregory and Luxmuralis

Cathedrals and COP26 / Climate change here.