Les Colombes, an installation which started out as a commemoration of the end of the First World War, has gained even greater significance since the nerve agent attack earlier this year in this historic city. Doves are a symbol of peace and hope and so totally appropriate as an antidote to the events that took place here.
The artist Michael Pendry has exhibited these works at various places around the world and encourages local people to create new doves to add to the total number and has done the same here in Salisbury Cathedral where some 2,500 ‘fly’ in the nave.
The step of taking the doves into the shops and city is a beautiful one for it spreads the message of peace and hope into the community and perhaps, just as following the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the apostles at Pentecost enabled the Apostles to be understood by people of different nations, it will be one that resonates with the many visitors that come here from around the World.
The artist says of his work: “Although the doves are folded by different people in their unity they stand for a fundamental human right – the right to peace and freedom. The time has come to declare ourselves and to stand up for this! May the flock of doves grow, from place to place, from country to country, and across all borders. Peace, freedom, and sustainability in a world of change and disturbance are the key themes of my installations.”
May his words as we approach Pentecost 2018 be heard both near and afar and acted upon.