The Salvation Army's international headquarters (IHQ) is proud to be a part of Stations of the Cross 2016, a unique exhibition – held in 14 locations across London – which uses works of art to tell the story of the Passion in a new way, for people of different faiths. In this pilgrimage for art lovers, viewers will travel across London, mapping the geography of the Holy Land onto the streets of a ‘new Jerusalem’. An app is available via the App Store and Google Play, your very own guide to Stations of the Cross to help you navigate London.
Renowned artist Güler Ates has created Sea of Colour at IHQ for the tenth station: 'Jesus is stripped of his garments'. It uses items drawn from donated and discarded children’s and baby clothing – too worn, damaged, or dirty to be used again. These cast-off clothes offer a haunting reminder of refugee children who have suffered or died in journeys to escape conflict.
This was demonstrated powerfully on Tuesday 2 February, as the tapestry made its own challenging journey across the Millennium Bridge and back to IHQ. The gusty wind made for a time-consuming traversal of the bridge, with impromptu assistance from passers-by genuinely needed.
Having suffered displacement from Eastern Turkey herself, Güler feels an acute empathy for refugees, and has created this work with the assistance of women from local refugee groups. Many of the individual garments include poignant messages from recent migrants. In a new way, she returns to a question that emanates throughout her work: can we ever really know the person in front of us? For us, as Christians, we seek to love our neighbour, regardless of who they are or where they have come from.
Güler's evocative work resonates with The Salvation Army, which is currently responding to the needs of refugees across Europe. From Greece to Norway and France to Romania, The Salvation Army is housing, feeding, clothing and educating refugees, as well as offering a place of comfort and safety where the challenges – past, present and future can be talked through without judgment or discrimination.
- To find out more about The Salvation Army's work among refugees and to make a donation, please click here
- Sea of Colour can be visited from 8am to 4:30pm every weekday during Lent and Holy Week, and is visible from the road outside these times
- Café 101, adjacent to The Salvation Army's exhibition space is open at the same times, selling a wide variety of hot and cold drinks, snacks, sandwiches, cakes, afternoon tea and lunches
- The Salvation Army's international headquarters is at 101 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4EH - click here for a map.
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Have your say
Have you taken part in the Stations of the Cross pilgrimage? How did Güler's work speak to you? Do you feel that we can truly know the struggle of refugees? Can we understand and appreciate what Jesus went through as he journeyed to the Cross? What does it mean for us? Share your thoughts with us...