Christmas is celebrated across the globe in different manners. But an artist and a church in London have come together to add a much needed message behind this year’s Christmas celebrations.
British artist, Arabella Dorman, is hosting a hauntingly-beautiful exhibition at the St. James Church in Piccadilly, London. This artwork at this exhibition is made entirely out of discarded clothes, nearly 700 items, that Dorman has collected.
The motive behind this is to bring to light the sad plight of refugees. Arabella collected these items primarily from the beaches and olive groves of the Lesbos island of Greece.
From jet black burqas to bright shirts to dresses with vivid animal prints, the clothes here are exactly like the refugees – a mismatch of unique personalities.
#Suspended is up @StJPiccadilly, ready for the press launch tomorrow, opening reception on 14th Dec, with other events to follow in the new year.Thank you to my incredible team of helpers, volunteers, Starfish Foundation & Starlight Design @SLDLondon – I could never have done it without you! #installationart #refugees #lesbos #artist #refugeeswelcome
Dorman wishes to highlight that the problem of refugees is not something that can be contracted in a number.
It is about the life and livelihood of actual people, who today are struggling to assimilate in a society, to procure food or even have a land to call home.
Every time you pick a new pieces of clothing, you are engaging with a new life.
The collection is titled Suspended in an attempt to reflect the that refugees live in.
Thus, the collected clothes are also arranged to dangle from the church altar, as if a chandelier made out of clothes.
Since the 10 days of its installation, more than 3000 people who visit the church have viewed the exhibition. And most of them, including the normal pedestrians walking across the road, have been forced to stop, stare and contemplate.
The project aims to raise funding for the Starfish foundation, a Lesbos based charity.
Hundred of refugees still travel shore to Lesbos each month. As Dorman says, “The situation is not going away. It in in fact deepening and worsening.”
This unique way of holding a mirror, or maybe just a shard of the mirror, and showing to the rest of the world, how a section of their own world and brethren are collapsing and disintegrating in front of them, is at once shocking and empathetic.