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St James’s roof installation for refugees

Clothes salvaged from Greek island have been unveiled at Piccadilly church

22 December, 2017

TWENTY-seven boxes of clothes salvaged from the Greek island of Lesbos have been unveiled as an art installation in St James’s Church, Piccadilly.

The display, Suspended, was created by artist Arabella Dorman with the blessing of church rector Rev Lucy Winkett.

Labour peer Alf Dubs, a refugee campaigner and Kindertransport veteran, was at the launch where he called on the government to honour its commitment to refugee children.

He said: “I survived because of this country’s proud tradition of protecting children fleeing war and terror. As we enter the Christmas period and refugees continue to arrive across Europe it is critical that we hold the government to account and ensure that we don’t close the door now to children seeking sanctuary in our country.”

The display follows an installation at the same church in 2015 that saw a salvaged refugee boat hung from the nave.

The project is made possible by the Starfish Foundation.

Rev Winkett said: “Our appeal and art installation is to deepen our own celebration of Christmas by welcoming people of all faiths and none to raise one of the defining issues of our time – the largest forced migration of people since the Second World War.”

Speaking of her work, Arabella Dorman said: “Through Suspended I invite the audience to imagine themselves and their children in the clothes and lives of refugees, and with empathy and a shared sense of humanity, to engage with one of the most urgent, yet complicated humanitarian issues of our time.”

• Suspended will hang in St James’s Church until the appeal ends in early February.

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