Liverpool Cathedral unveils latest exhibition

Acclaimed artist and sculptor Peter Walker has unveiled Being Human, his latest exhibition at Liverpool Cathedral. Tony McDonough reports

Peter Walker
Artist Peter Walker with his Being Human Exhibition at Liverpool Cathedral


Liverpool Cathedral has unveiled its latest collaboration with acclaimed artist and sculptor Peter Walker.

Being Human opened at the cathedral on Wednesday and runs until August 30. Featuring two giant-sized female hands, each towering two metres high, Being Human explores what it means to be human and how we connect with others.

It follows two previous successful exhibitions by Peter at Liverpool Cathedral. His previous works include Peace Doves. This was a mass participation art installation featuring around 18,000 paper doves suspended from the roof of the building.

Earlier this year, working as one half of the artistic duo, Luxmuralis, he amazed visitors by flooding Liverpool Cathedral with the wonders of the universe. Space, The Universe and Everything offered a dazzling display of projections, lights and sounds.

Being Human is made up of four installations: Connection, Creativity, Identity and Reflection.

Connection is a contemporary twist on Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece, the Creation of Adam, which depicts God’s hand reaching out to meet Adam’s finger. Forming a gateway to Being Human, the imposing installation, which spans almost 10 metres of floor space, has been created using traditional sculpture techniques.

A vast gap between each hand represents faith, whilst also symbolising our connection to each other. This highlights the importance of human contact and the isolation that comes with being apart.

The artist hopes the piece will inspire people to reach out to others in their own communities following the distance and isolation experienced by many during the pandemic.

Visitors are encouraged to stand in the middle of the two giant hands to try to plug the gap between them as they marvel at the sheer scale of the installation, capturing photos along the way.

Creativity is a representation of Peter Walker’s own studio space. It features elements of his previous artworks and key tools of his trade including an easel, a turntable and a palette. The installation showcases 25 years of his work as an artist.

Identity is inspired by the traditional photobooth. The interactive installation invites visitors to star in their own piece of art as they briefly become the artist’s model. As the installation captures a portrait of each visitor, a personalised artwork is displayed on an easel for just a few minutes.

Reflection is made up of 5,000 metal leaves, each engraved with the word hope. A reflective memorial to the pandemic, the leaves transition in colour from silver to autumn brown, symbolising new life and hope after loss. 


Being Human
The Being Human Exhibition at Liverpool Cathedral runs until August 30
Peter Walker
Artist Peter Walker at Liverpool Cathedral


Created using steel to signify resilience and collective strength, the artist uses sycamore maple leaves to represent protection, eternity, strength and clarity. Visitors are invited to become part of the artwork by writing their own message on a paper leaf to reflect how they feel and to remember loved ones they have lost.

Peter said: “The magnificent Gothic architecture of Liverpool Cathedral sets the scene perfectly for Being Human. It is an exhibition which sets out to inspire people to contemplate just how incredible we are as human beings.

“By our very nature, we’re all unique as human beings and I’m looking forward to seeing how the exhibition touches people from many different walks of life, inspiring the youngest of visitors to the oldest.”

Being Human forms part of a two-year programme of events, exhibitions and artworks leading up to Liverpool Cathedral’s 100th anniversary in 2024. The exhibition, which is free to attend, is open from 10am – 6pm daily.

Revd Canon Dr Neal Barnes, Canon for Mission and Faith Development, added: “Visitors are always incredibly complimentary about Peter’s artworks at Liverpool Cathedral, which are extremely thought-provoking.

“It’s fair to say that the challenges of the pandemic have been tough for many and I hope visitors will use this latest exhibition as an opportunity to reflect, consider their faith and focus on what is most important to us as human beings.”

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