Rochester Cathedral – Reflective Memorial to the Pandemic

Rochester Cathedral will be carpeted with 5,000 metal leaves as a reflective memorial to the coronavirus pandemic.

New artwork opens in Rochester Cathedral as a reflective memorial to the pandemic.

he Leaves of the Trees by Peter Walker is an artwork made up of
5,000 steel leaves, each with the word HOPE engraved, and will be displayed in the Quire from 24th April to the 22nd May.

The leaves give the impression of autumn leaves fallen from trees and are designed to symbolise the past but also hope for the future.

The artist, Peter, said he had chosen the sycamore maple leaf because it symbolised strength, protection, eternity and clarity.

Over time the steel will be allowed to gradually change colour to rusted tones.

The project is designed to allow visitors to reflect on the periods of lockdown and isolation and provide a focal point for their thoughts and personal reflections.

Dean of Rochester, The Very Revd Dr Philip Hesketh said:

“Peter has produced an evocative and moving piece of work which captures the experience of Autumn fallenness whilst being energised by the hope of the coming Spring.”

This is not the first time Peter Walker has worked with Rochester Cathedral. In October 2021, he transformed the Cathedral with the light and sound show Space Voyage which was a sell out.

The Leaves of the Trees has toured several cathedrals over last couple of years including Exeter Cathedral, Lichfield Cathedral and Sheffield.

It opens in Rochester on 24th April. Admission is free and no booking is required.

Photo credit: Mark Pickthall of Leaves of the Trees by artist Peter Walker in Exeter Cathedral.