Southwark Cathedral hosts huge sculpture exhibition that pays tribute to NHS staff

Kit Heren (11 September, 2021)

The sculptures are available to view free of charge in the cathedral until October 10 before being auctioned off to raise money for the NHS

47891Dean of Southwark Andrew Nunn with the installation (Image: Scott Kershaw Photography)

A major public artwork created to thank NHS workers for their work in the pandemic are set to go on display at Southwark Cathedral.

Gratitude, a series of 51 sculptures by different artists from around the UK, was curated by Southwark’s own Dame Zandra Rhodes, who founded Bermondsey’s Fashion and Textile Museum.

The sculptures are on the last leg of a UK tour and will be available to view free of charge in the cathedral from October 1-10. They will be auctioned off to raise money for NHS Charities Together on October 12. Each sculpture has an asking price of £1,000.

Image: Scott Kershaw Photography

The installation also shares real-life stories and poems about NHS staff and other key workers, which have been recorded by actors including Hugh Bonneville, Christopher Eccleston and Julie Hesmondhalgh.

The artwork was coordinated by Wild in Art, the company that also managed the mascot trail for the London Olympics in 2012.

Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder of Wild in Art said: “Gratitude is set to be a beautiful and striking tribute which celebrates the incredible courage and dedication of the UK’s NHS staff and all key workers and supports the vital work of NHS Charities Together. We are delighted to be taking our tour to London’s Southwark Cathedral, after months of hard work from artists across the UK, who have dedicated their time and creativity to help us produce an installation which reflects our endless Gratitude for the care and kindness that all key workers have provided.”

Image: Scott Kershaw Photography

The Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark said: “This will be an amazing installation and a real opportunity to thank the staff of the NHS for all they have done so far in this ongoing pandemic and to offer our continuing support in real and heartfelt gratitude. Where the exhibition takes place is exactly where St Thomas’ Hospital was founded back in the 12th century by the Augustinian friars of the Priory of St Mary Overie, now Southwark Cathedral.”

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