A tree has recently been installed inside Bangor Cathedral! Not a plant, but a work of art, to which many people have contributed. It is hoped that more will do so, so that this tree can grow!
The tree is made out of cubes, which people have worked on. Each cube has then been attached to a net, which crosses the nave at the west end of the Cathedral.
Each cube has been ‘made’ by individuals at a workshop, and is a representation of a room in their mind, which gives the exhibition its title – “In our mind there are many rooms…”.
The Lead Artist for this exhibition is Tim Iliffe from Llanfairfechan. He said, ‘This tree is part of a project which came into being as my way of celebrating being able to live free of medication and support.
“Over the last 20 years I had been living with a mental health condition, which meant that I had to give up my professional career. However, during 2014 I was able to stop taking the prescription drugs, and have been free from medication ever since.
“I was then successful when I applied for a research and development grant from the Arts Council of Wales for a project called ‘Air, Wind and Fire’. The “In our mind there are many rooms…” exhibition is one part of this project, and in Bangor Cathedral the tree is an Acacia Tree, which is often found in the Diocese of Lango in Uganda, which is linked to the Diocese of Bangor.’
The cubes which hang on the tree are the size of the box in which which Tim Iliffe’s medication for his illness used to come. Tim has visited a variety of groups and people to help them design and develop their cubes in workshops. So far there are 400 boxes, some of which took many hours to design and complete.
There is still an opportunity for any group to contact Tim and he will be happy to put on a workshop to make the cubes. During 2017 the exhibition will be in three other locations in North Wales, and Tim would like to have 1000 cubes by the time the exhibition finishes its tour.
Commenting on the exhibition, the Dean of Bangor, the Very Rev’d Kathy Jones, said: ‘It is excellent that Bangor Cathedral is able to host this exhibition. Society does not find it easy to deal with mental illness, because it is invisible and difficult to understand, unless you have been through it.
“Like many people, I have witnessed the challenges which mental health sufferers have to face, and so this exhibition is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues. Indeed, this is a theme that we shall be exploring throughout Lent in our Sunday services in Bangor Cathedral, with Christian speakers who have experience in dealing with mental health issues. It is important that mental health issues are not forgotten.’
The exhibition is in Bangor Cathedral until April 30, from 10:30am to 3:30pm from Monday to Thursday, 10:30am to 1pm on Saturday.
The themes which Bangor Cathedral will be exploring during the Sunday services this Lent are:
- 5 March (Lent 1), General health and wellbeing, Canon Robert Townsend
- 12 March (Lent 2), Dementia, Rev’d Dr. Bob Friedrich
- 19 March (Lent 3), Trust, Dr. Sally Harper and Dr. Huw Lloyd
- 26 March (Lent 4), Pastoral awareness, The Rev’d Linda Mary Edwards
- 2 April (Lent 5), Exhaustion, Dr, Rhys Davies and Rev’d Adrian Stark-Ordish