Imagine Peace, Armistice 2018 – Lichfield Cathedral

16th August 2018

Peace woodland transforms Lichfield Cathedral into an immersive sound and light show this summer for Armistice

Sixteen million falling leaves, 1918 trees and a double bed: Lichfield Cathedral’s latest sound and art installation asks visitors to Imagine Peace this Armistice year.

It is the latest creation by Lichfield Cathedral’s artist in residence, Peter Walker (as featured in our More than a Building campaign) and the creative team at Luxmuralis, who transformed the medieval building with the award-winning Star Of Wonder last Christmas and again with The Great Exhibition, Earth: What a Wonderful World; last summer. Imagine Peace opens on August 17.

This latest piece again features an immersive sound and light show, but at its heart is a peace woodland created from 1,918 trees saved from landfill with the local authority’s Parks’ Department, and planted around the front of the Cathedral.

Inside the Cathedral will be a profound and reflective walk of art that takes the visitor on a journey through nature, 1960’s flower power and new life. It includes the projection of 16 million falling leaves – one for every life lost in WW1  – as it asks them to Imagine Peace this centenary year of the Armistice, and remember all those caught up in the conflict of war.

Sculptor and artist, Peter Walker, who is in his third year of a five year residency with Lichfield Cathedral, said: “Imagine Peace offers the visitor the opportunity to say goodbye and honour all those who played their part in the Great War, those who lost their lives, and those supporting them on the Home Front.

“Both artistically and emotionally this exhibition is about putting ourselves into the story and taking a moment to think what that means. 

“I want us to walk in the footsteps of the soldiers, I want us to think about peace, I want us to ask hard questions of ourselves, and finally as we reach the end of the journey at the nave, and stand as 16 million leaves blow all around us, I want us to turn that loss into a celebration of new life.

“This is why the peace woodland is so important in this work, because those 1918 trees offer the hope of new life” he added.

Following the exhibition, the trees will be planted in nearby Beacon Park, Lichfield, to form a new permanent woodland.

The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber said:

“Imagine Peace marks 100 years since the guns of World War One fell silent; we must never forget the sacrifices made in war and we must always continue to strive for peace.”

Supported by the Arts Council England, Imagine Peace is part of a year of art, music and worship events at the Cathedral, to mark the Centenary of the Armistice. This year-long programme saw the Consequence Of War exhibition in Spring that featured three Victoria Crosses never before seen together, work by international artists, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland and Henry Moore, and asked visitors to make patches, write letters to loved ones (imagined or real) on The Front and bring in buttons.

The patches and buttons will feature in The Great Exhibition and there will be chance to make doves this time that will form the backbone of Lichfield’s Christmas art exhibition.