Video: Meet the Artist

Artist Michael Pendry talks about his installation at Washington National Cathedral, and the need for public art in our troubled times

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About the Exhibit

Just before Christmas, German artist Michael Pendry installed the Les Colombes exhibit: a winding column of more than 2,000 origami paper doves in the grand nave of Washington National Cathedral. Symbolizing hope and the Holy Spirit, the doves encourage a feeling of optimism as we end a challenging 2020 and begin a new year. This sculpture is arranged to give new life to our Cathedral, embody our resolve to be kind to our fellow human, and to do our part in making a better tomorrow.

Les Colombes has previously appeared in Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, England; St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London; Mount Zion in Jerusalem; Heilig-Geist Viktualienmarkt in Munich; and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. “The Les Colombes installation has found homes of some of the world’s most iconic sacred spaces, and now I’m thrilled to exhibit this piece in the National Cathedral, where it can challenge and engage new audiences, both virtually and, eventually, in person,” said Pendry.

This exhibit is sponsored by a fund from the German Bishops Conference and Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Foreign Office in Berlin, which supports projects of German artists abroad.