LONDON’S SOUTHWARK CATHEDRAL ANNOUNCED FOR FINALE OF TOURING PUBLIC ART INSTALLATION ‘GRATITUDE’

Wild in Art today announces that the finale of ‘Gratitude’, a spectacular public art installation to thank NHS staff and all key workers for their ongoing courage and dedication during the pandemic, will be at Southwark Cathedral, the oldest Gothic church building in London, from 1st – 10th October, ahead of the auction of the sculptures for NHS Charities together on 12th October.

‘Gratitude’, an installation by global public art producer Wild in Art, has been visited by tens of thousands of people during its tour across the UK, with previous installations in Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square, Manchester’s St Peter’s Square and Edinburgh’s Newhailes House and Gardens (17th – 26th September, 2021).

The free to visit exhibition consists of 51 sculptures, all designed by individual artists from different regions, and curated in partnership with creative ambassador Dame Zandra Rhodes. Flanked by mirrors, Gratitude creates infinite reflections of the stunning artwork, highlighting the endless dedication from NHS carers and key workers across the country. The mirrors also ensure visitors become part of Gratitude, creating an immersive experience and reflecting the contributions of the entire population.

Created by the team behind the hugely successful 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Mascot Trail in London, Gratitude aims to connect people and communities, artists and businesses, NHS staff and all key workers, inviting people to come together to reflect and show their appreciation.

The installation is open to the public for a final ten days at its London locations before the sculptures are auctioned off, with substantial proceeds donated to NHS Charities Together (Registered Charity Number 1186569), which supports the NHS, including its hospitals, ambulance services, community and mental healthcare providers and vital partnerships.

As well as celebrating the incredible work of our key workers, the installation will reflect the stories and contributions of this unprecedented year through beautiful art and audio which will represent the UK’s nations and regions.

Artwork will be on display from multi talented artists and designers from across the country including iconic Scottish fashion designer Pam Hogg with her sculpture ‘Courage’, a statue of remembrance, for selfless, life-risking, endless dedication, renowned sculptural artist Andrew Logan with his design ‘Stardust’, London based fashion and textile designer Kitty Joseph, and one of the UK’s leading ceramic artists, Kate Malone from London with her design ‘Life Force’ which is inspired by the optimism and joy in nature.

Their artwork and designs will form part of the installation alongside fashion icon and London based designer, Dame Zandra Rhodes and other highly acclaimed British artists including London artists Harkiran Kalsi, with her sculpture ‘I Am Thankful For’, inspired by all the things that make us feel grateful for being alive, Oguzhan Secir with ‘Thank You All’, a sculpture which thanks all key workers and Will Barras with ‘Community’, a design which expresses the gratitude we all feel towards the NHS and all key workers as a community.

Hailing from the South East, artist Mik Richardson from Norwich has designed ‘Forces Unite’, a sculpture which honours the perhaps un-noticed work of Military personnel as key workers during the pandemic, Jane Veveris Callan from Cambridge’s sculpture ‘Beacon of Hope’ is also dedicated to key workers who have given everyone hope and support during the pandemic and Brighton based duo Art + Believe have also designed their sculpture ‘Blanket of Unity’ which displays a vibrant, colourful, geometric blanket wrapped around the sculpture to represent all key workers’ commitment and unity to us all.

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.”

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.”

The installation also shares real-life stories and poems about key workers, which been recorded by a host of well-known voices from across the UK, including actors Hugh Bonneville, Sarah Parish, Christopher Eccleston, Julie Hesmondhalgh, John Thomson, Ciaran Griffiths, Shobna Gulati plus other high profile figures including Norman Cook, KT Tunstall, Adil Ray and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell.

Visitors to the installation will be able to listen to the stories and poems via the Gratitude App and website, which have been brought to life by the actors paying tribute to key workers. From touching tributes to doctors and staff at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital to a light-hearted story about a dedicated Deputy Head Teacher striving to keep her pupils happy, a railway worker who has gone over and above his duties to keep people safe on their daily commutes to a powerful poem about our NHS heroes, listeners are sure to be taken on a journey of quiet reflection whilst observing the stunning artwork. .

‘Paddington’ and ‘Downtown Abbey’ actor, Hugh Bonneville commented: “It’s been a very tough year for everyone, but especially for our key workers, so I am honoured to have been asked to be part of ‘Gratitude’. The project will help shine a much need light on all the hard work and dedication of our wonderful NHS and all of the other key workers across the UK.”

On voicing one of the stories, legendary DJ, and Martlets Hospice Ambassador Norman Cook said: “What an honour to be voicing one of the incredible real life stories that will be part of ‘Gratitude’. The sculptures, artwork and stories combined will be striking and meaningful, creating a much needed moment of thanks for our amazing key workers. I can’t wait to see it all come together.”

W1A and Bancroft actress, Sarah Parish said: “I am thrilled to be a part of ‘Gratitude’, a fantastic project which invites everyone to come together and say a big thank you to all of our wonderful key workers. I’m looking forward to seeing all the beautiful artwork and listening to all of the touching stories which will bring the installation to life.”

To give people plenty of time and space to observe the installation, there will be dedicated time slots available to visit the site, therefore an allocated number of free tickets for the general public will be available to reserve for each city. Tickets for Gratitude’s first public opening in London are available from the official Gratitude website www.thisisgratitude.co.uk.

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