Latest News | 28 April 2022

Peace Doves installation lands at Derby Cathedral

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A stunning new art installation made up of 8,000 paper doves has been unveiled at Derby Cathedral.

Peace Doves is a large-scale art installation created by renowned sculptor and artist Peter Walker.

Made up of thousands of paper doves suspended on ribbons above the cathedral’s nave, the installation is accompanied by a tranquil soundscape from composer David Harper.

The doves have been decorated with messages of peace, hope and love – many of which have been created by members of local community and wellbeing groups who have joined workshops run by Derby community arts organisation Artcore, and the public.

The mass participation community arts project has also involved schools across the city and county who have also made their own Peace Doves displays with the support of Mr Walker’s education and arts team.

Image credits: AV IT! Media

Open to the public until 12 June, the Peace Doves will provide the focus for a diverse events programme across the city, with an array of free and ticketed events, workshops, talks and concerts.

The Very Revd Dr Peter Robinson, Dean of Derby, said: “The last major art installation in the cathedral was ‘Museum of the Moon’ in autumn 2019, which drew thousands of visitors to the cathedral and had such a positive impact on the neighbouring Cathedral Quarter and the wider city centre.

“We were keen to recreate the positivity and beauty that a major art installation brings to the magnificent space in the heart of Derby Cathedral and were delighted when we secured artist Peter Walker to bring Peace Doves to the city.”

The Dean said that the messages behind Peace Doves were even more powerful in light of the continuing crisis in Ukraine.

He said: “Our original driver for bringing Peace Doves to Derby Cathedral was to create a unique piece, which reflects the thoughts and feelings of local people from all faiths, ages and backgrounds following such a turbulent time for everyone during the pandemic.

“Now, with war continuing in Ukraine and the value that we all place on peace being uppermost in our minds, the messages behind Peace Doves have even greater poignancy.

“We look forward to welcoming people to the Cathedral over the coming weeks and we hope that visitors will encounter peace and the space to reflect on the past two years and the suffering that Ukrainian people are now experiencing.”

Peace Doves was first staged at Lichfield Cathedral in 2018 when it was designed to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.
It was also installed at Liverpool Cathedral in 2021, which attracted more than 150,000 visitors.

Peace Doves at Derby Cathedral is funded by Arts Council England, Westhill Endowment, Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District, Derby City Council and Foundation Derbyshire.

Image credits: AV IT! Media

Mr Walker said: “I am delighted to bring Peace Doves to Derby Cathedral.
“Previous installations have been very well received and have created a prideful sense of community and togetherness.

“Sometimes, art has the ability to transcend just being an object and become the focus of our collective sentiments.

“That is the purpose of Peace Doves, which allows thousands of people to create, and express their own personal emotions as part of an ensemble, which produces a beautiful final composition, and a series of smaller community works.

“Nearly every message on the doves is not about one person, but about the community, the city, and the bigger picture. This artwork is designed really, by me, but it has been made by the people of Derby and Derbyshire.”

Throughout the exhibition, entry to the cathedral will be free of charge although a suggested donation of £3 per person is requested, which will go towards the care and work of Derby Cathedral helping to keep its doors open for all.

Booking is encouraged through Derby Cathedral’s Eventbrite page – click here.

Derby Cathedral is already lining up its next installation, called GAIA. To find out more click here and to get involved contact the cathedral’s business development manager Catriona Munn at

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