Opened to the public on April 23, the display will continue until June 12 and features more than 9,000 white doves – many of which were handcrafted by school children from across the county.
Funded by the Arts Council of England, the idea was first proposed in 2020 by sculptor Peter Walker and given added relevancy by the Covid-19 panademic; however, the date of the announcement gave it added poignancy.
Derby Cathedral business development manager Catriona Munn said: “The day we announced that Peace Doves were going to be displayed here was actually the day Russia invaded Ukraine.”
The paper doves each feature a handwritten message of peace and understanding. Many relate to the conflict in Ukraine or other “messages of peace, love and hope.”
While the bulk of doves are displayed in Derby Cathedral, many others are available in schools county-wide. Over 10,000 pupils have had an opportunity to contribute, with 2,000 in the cathedral sculpted by schoolchildren and others being sourced from workshops held within the cathedral itself.
Munn said: “We’ve been working with Art Core, who have used their community group network and have been working with people from all sorts of faiths and backgrounds.”
She added: “It’s a beautiful visual piece, but it’s representative of people across Derby and Derbyshire.”
The display is also supported by what is described as a tranquil soundscape by David Harper.
The Peace Doves have received a positive reception from the public at large, with many taking to Twitter to voice their praise.
— Rosie Marshalsay (@RosieMarshalsay) May 15, 2022