Salisbury –­ City of Doves

AN installation of around 2,500 origami white doves will “fly” along the nave of Salisbury Cathedral in a community project called #SalisburyCityofDoves which opens to the public on 12th May.

Before that the Cathedral is inviting local people around the city to take part, and help to spread the message of resilience, peace and hope.

The #SalisburyCityofDoves project aims to extend the message of the installation by filling the city with doves, encouraging organisations and businesses to create displays in their windows or offices using the same origami template, with paper and instructions provided free of charge by the Cathedral.

Public displays should all be ready by close of play on Tuesday 8th May. The Cathedral authorities are hoping that the installation and the city-wide response will generate positive media coverage about Salisbury to help offset the impact of recent events.

The Doves – Les Colombes – is an installation by Michael Pendry, and was originally part of the Cathedral’s New Dawn themed events marking the centenary of the end of World War One. It is a timely reminder that the appeal for peace and hope remains as powerful today as it was in 1918.

Les Colombes has been exhibited in Munich, Jerusalem, London, San Francisco and Berlin. At each location Michael Pendry has encouraged community groups and individuals to fold their own doves, which he then includes in future installations. He says: “Although the doves are folded by different people, in their unity they stand for a fundamental human right – the right to peace and freedom. The time has come to declare ourselves and to stand up for this! May the flock of doves grow, from place to place, from country to country, and across all borders. Peace, freedom and sustainability in a world of change and disturbance are the key themes of my installations.”

Salisbury Cathedral’s visual arts advisor, Jacquiline Creswell, who is responsible for bringing Les Colombes to Salisbury says: “Our community has recently been challenged by the nerve agent attack in our city and this exhibition brings with it the message that we can all come together to fold and create our own white doves that will fly as our symbol of hope, humanity and new beginnings.”