The Leaves of the Trees: Art Installation by Peter Walker

From Friday 3 September to Sunday 3 October we are delighted to be hosting an artwork installation by the internationally acclaimed sculptor Peter Walker. The Leaves of the Trees is a reflective memorial to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic

The Leaves of the Trees comprise 5,000 five-inch leaves, each cut from 1mm mild steel, chosen as the material for the leaves to remind us of our resilience and collective strength. The leaves will slowly change from steel to rusted tones as the leaves gradually change colour over the period of the tour of English Cathedrals, just as the leaves of trees do when they fall each year.

Each leaf, individually carved with the word HOPE, will be laid out on the Sanctuary floor, creating a beautiful cascading impression of autumn leaves fallen from the trees, appearing as though naturally scattered by the wind. The leaves symbolise the past, what has transpired, as we hope for a better future.

As part of the project, which is supported by the Guild of Health and St Raphael, visitors will also be invited to write their own thoughts, messages and prayers on paper leaves. 

The Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark says ‘As our minds turn towards autumn we are delighted to welcome ‘The Leaves of the Trees’ to Southwark Cathedral.  As a sign of hope they are also a reminder to us of all those we have lost during the pandemic.  Each one, like a fallen leaf, is precious to us, and nothing and no one is lost from God’s sight’.

‘The Leaves of the Trees’ installation will be at Southwark Cathedral from 3 September - 2 October. 

You can also purchase your very own Hope leaf for £25 plus free P&P UK only.  Please visit our online shop for further details. A limited number of these leaves will also be available to purchase from the Cathedral shop from Friday 3 September.