Young Artists Create Breathtaking Art Installation For Lichfield Cathedral’s Great Exhibition

Published on: Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:10

As part of the very first Great Exhibition at Lichfield Cathedral in August, a creative group of youngsters from local schools have teamed up with the cathedral to design a very special art installation for this stunning visual event.  

The unique project, overseen by the cathedral’s artist-in-residence Peter Walker, has seen pupils from 31 schools lay down hundreds of colourfully-painted tiles. The design acts as a fitting centrepiece to the first of four planned annual Great Exhibitions at the cathedral, which this year is entitled ‘Earth: What a Wonderful World?’ and will take place from Saturday 19th to Monday 28th August.

Last Christmas, children made their personal mark on the cathedral by hanging thousands of paper angels from the ceiling as part of the 10,000 Angels project, while ‘A Cathedral Illuminated’ offered a breathtaking display of festive projections across the exterior of the building.

“The idea for this new installation was born off the back of the success we experienced with our 10,000 Angels and ‘A Cathedral Illuminated’ projects,” Peter explains.

“Each child has created their own person tile, all of which are decorated with a unique natural image. Not only has this introduced the children to a different way of responding to art, it has also made them consider what nature means to them personally.

“The entire installation will guide visitors on a vibrant journey through the cathedral and create a sense of contemplation on nature’s aesthetic beauty, indicating how the natural world has informed the building’s architectural style.”

A teacher involved with the project adds: “Contributing to the project has enabled the children to explore the theme of the natural world in a very unique way. They have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to create something special and to reflect on the topic. Knowing that their work will form a very small part of a much bigger picture has provided them with a meaningful analogy – that the small part we all play in shaping and protecting the world around us matters.”

Alex Nicholson-Ward, Schools and Learning Manager for Lichfield Cathedral, says: “It has been a pleasure to work with so many schools on this project. Schools of all kinds from across the region have been involved, and the result of their work has been truly astonishing.

“The children have thoroughly enjoyed the process of planning and illustrating their tiles. The project has not only given them the opportunity to engage with the idea of stewardship of the Earth, but also the importance of creative expression and design.”

In addition to the art piece, the Great Exhibition will also feature an awe-inspiring light and sound installation that will transform the cathedral’s internal spaces into a display of earth, sea and sky, as well as screenings of the Disney films WALL-E and The Jungle Book (1967) on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd August respectively, which will give audiences of all ages the chance to see two animated favourites as they’ve never seen them before.

The art and light show and the film screenings are ticket-only events and tickets for both can be purchased online now at Advance admission to the installation is £3 (£2 for under 16s), while tickets bought on the door are £5 (£3 for those under 16). Tickets bought in advance of the film screenings cost £5 or £7.50 on the evening.

The Great Exhibition is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, as well as from Lichfield District Council.

To find out more about The Great Exhibition 2017 at Lichfield Cathedral, visit the website at