A British artist who spent a lot of time on the island of Lesvos helping refugees, has created an installation made by recycled refugee clothes inside a London church for the Christmas season.
Arabella Dorman, has collected and sculpted more than 700 items of clothing discarded on the beaches and olive groves of Lesvos island, to highlight the plight of refugees.
Her installation in London’s St James’s Church is entitled “Suspended” as the clothes dangle above the church’s altar, and as it also represents the state of uncertainty in which refugees find themselves.
A brightly coloured African-print dress, billowing burqas and a faded football shirt surround a glowing orb that brightens and dims, representing the oscillating hope and despair of refugees who arrive on the Greek shores.
From afar, the clothes hang in a mass like a ghostly chandelier adorning the nave of the church. But the artist, who has worked in Gaza, Afghanistan and Iraq, wants worshippers to look closer and reflect on the individuals who once wore the garments.
“They are suspended in limbo – stuck between a past to which they can not return and a future to which they cannot move forward,” Dorman said.
The project aims to raise funds for the Starfish Foundation, a charity in Lesvos where hundreds of refugees still come ashore each month.