Artist to transform Lichfield Cathedral for Imagine Peace exhibition

By Charlotte Callear | Attractions | Published:

Lichfield Cathedral is set to be transformed into an immersive sound and light show to mark the end of the First World War.

Artist Peter Walker

The latest art installation asks visitors to Imagine Peace this Armistice year.

For the sound and light show, there will be 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.

Meanwhile, inside there 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.

It is being brought to the church by the creative team Luxmuralis and Peter Walker - the same artist who transformed the cathedral with his award-winning Star of Wonder last Christmas.

He also transformed the medieval building with The Great Exhibition from 2017 which was Earth: What a Wonderful World.

Mr 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."

Following the exhibition, the trees will be planted in Beacon Park, Lichfield, to form a new permanent woodland and local people are being invited to dedicate a name to peace.

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.

Tickets are priced at £4, or £3 for children, and £10 for a family of four (two adults, two children). You can get them at the Cathedral shop or online.

It will open to visitors from August 17 until 27 from 7pm until 11pm.


Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office


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