The Leaves of the Tree – Exeter

A new touring art installation designed to give people the opportunity to reflect on the impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on them and their communities will open in Exeter Cathedral this week before moving on to other cathedrals around the country.

And the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2A)

‘The Leaves of the Trees’ is made up of 5,000 steel leaves, each featuring the word ‘HOPE’ and will be laid out on the floor of the Cathedral, creating an impression of fallen autumn leaves when it opens this Thursday.

It was created by sculptor, Peter Walker, who said the leaves were symbolic of the times we were living in.

Peter said:

“Steel has been chosen as the material to remind us of our resilience and collective strength.

“As the artwork tours the country the steel will age, rust and change colour, just as the leaves of trees do when they fall each year.

“In nature fallen leaves are essential to prepare the planet for spring and new growth and it is hoped that the simplicity and beauty of this installation will give people the chance to pause and contemplate their own experience, and also reflect on the wider situation we find ourselves in.”

The Dean of Exeter, the Very Revd Jonathan Greener, said:

“People have been coming to this awe-inspiring building, seeking quiet reflection, for over 800 years. And we are delighted to be the first to host Peter Walker’s new installation, which will bring a new way of helping visitors to remember loved ones and contemplate all that has happened over the last few months.”

The installation is supported by the Guild of Health and St Raphael and will visit Exeter Cathedral from September 3 – 24 before moving to other cathedrals round the country including Sheffield, Rochester and Lichfield.

Peter Walker is the Artistic Director and Artist in Residence at Lichfield Cathedral and, amongst other work, is currently working on a three-metre bronze statue of Saint Chad for the exterior of Lichfield Cathedral.

He also creates large-scale digital son et lumiere artworks as the artistic director of Luxmuralis, including Space Light & Sound which toured Carlisle, Sheffield and Exeter cathedrals earlier this year.

‘The Leaves of the Trees’ installation will be at Exeter Cathedral from 3rd until 24th September.

Admission is included with the Cathedral’s reduced entrance fee of £5, and full Covid-19 safety precautions will be in place.

More on the Exeter Cathedral website here.