Fallen Leaves at Peterborough

06th December 2021

Message of hope in fallen leaves in Peterborough Cathedral

A contemplative memorial to encourage visitors to pause and reflect following another year constrained by the Covid pandemic, has gone on display in Peterborough Cathedral this Advent.

The Leaves of the Trees exhibition – on display to the public during normal Cathedral opening times – has been designed by the sculptor Peter Walker and is made up of 5,000 steel leaves with the word ‘hope’ imprinted upon each of them. Together they create the impression of autumn leaves fallen from the trees, appearing as if naturally scattered by the wind.

This is a reflective memorial, designed to provide a focus and a ‘moment out’ in the busyness of life as we head towards the Christmas holidays,  to think about the impact of the pandemic on our lives and the lives of our family, our friends and our communities over the past 18 months.

Peter Walker said:

“The leaves symbolise the past, but also hope for the future. The sycamore maple leaves symbolise strength, protection, eternity and clarity. I chose steel because it reminds us of our resilience and collective strength.”

Peter added:

“The artwork will tour around the country and the steel will age, rust and change colour just as the leaves of trees do when they fall each year as part of the cycle of life that leads to the spring and new growth. The overall impression we want to give is one of hope.”

Visitors can purchase a leaf, in a special presentation box and with a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist, from the Cathedral shop in the north aisle and also from its online shop. Each Hope leaf is a bespoke and individual sculpture in its own right.

The Leaves of the Trees project is supported by The Guild of Health & St Raphael. www.gohealth.org.uk

On display in Peterborough Cathedral until 14th January 2022.

Photo: Graham Williams (of artwork by Peter Walker, sculptor )