An installation artwork
St James's Church, Piccadilly
14th December 2017 - 9th February 2018
Suspended is an installation artwork created out of hundreds of items of clothing that have been discarded by refugees arriving on the beaches of Lesbos, having recently fled war, persecution and poverty.
Suspended hangs above the nave of St James's Piccadilly and follows on from Arabella's critically acclaimed work Flight, which hung in St James's over the Christmas period in 2015/16. It forms part of her ongoing series of works seeking to highlight the humanitarian crisis of forced displacement across the world today.
Suspended looks to reflect the experience of the thousands of refugees who now remain stuck in limbo between a lost past and an uncertain future. The use of children's clothing in particular, asks for an engagement with the current plight of unaccompanied minors, who face the very real risk of human trafficking, slavery and radicalisation.
As we approach the festive season, Arabella's new installation invites the viewer to embark upon their own journey of understanding and empathy, for the rootless and volatile experience of those caught between a past to which they cannot return, and a future to which they cannot move forward.
Suspended is a fundraising initiative for the Starfish Foundation, helping refugee children and families in Lesbos and beyond.
The Backstory ...
After months of sourcing, gathering, cleaning, packing and shipping 1,400 items of discarded refugee clothes arrived in St James's Piccadilly. During the weeks that followed, the clothes were sorted, shaped and sculpted before the final overnight installation. We had 24 hours to get the whole installation hung and we did it! Thank you to the amazing team from Starlight Design - with you anything is possible! And to my awesome group of volunteers, I don't know what I would have done without your tireless energy and support.
This installation would not have been possible without the generous support of individual donors, the Starfish Foundation, Dirty Girls of Lesvos and, of course, St James's Piccadilly and Canterbury Cathedral.