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Les Colombes: The White Doves

News St Martin – Talking Points

Monday 15 May 2017

Les Colombes: The White Doves
an Art for Peace Project by Michael Pendry

Wednesday 31 May – Monday 3 July

© Sebastian KrawczykLes Colombes is a multimedia installation by German artist Michael Pendry. Following successful installations with over 300,000 visitors in Jerusalem and Munich, Les Colombes will descend on St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square from 31 May – 3 July 2017.

Coming straight from Jerusalem, the 2,000 white paper doves, a symbol of the spirit, but also of peace, float through the nave of the church forming an almost 15 metre long sculpture.   Light moves around the space and over the sculpture simulating the doves in flight.  Quietly and playfully they integrate their movement into the atmosphere, exuding a magical sense of tranquillity and strength.

A sound cloud especially composed and produced for the installation by digital music producers Digital Haze infuses the space with the sound of cooing and fluttering wings. While a gentle rustling of the wind and mystical chords hover in space, alternating between a strong intensity and an ebbing away.

All are welcome to the Opening Night on Wednesday 31 May at 6.30pm. There will be a talk by the artist Michael Pendry, within the evening’s Bread For the World service with and the team at St Martin’s, followed at 7.30pm by the opportunity to take in the sound cloud and lighting of Les Colombes. Everyone is also welcome to a special performance by singer/songwriter from Tel Aviv,  Yonatan Maimon on Monday 5 June at 6.30pm. Yonatan’s recorded his latest album in an ancient Israeli national park and evokes traditional spirituality through a contemporary folk sound.  His emotive guitar-playing will set the scene for the viewing of Les Colombes that will follow his performance.

Visitors are encouraged to create their own doves, which can made in the Foyer from Saturday 20 May – Sunday 25 June.

Our Regular opening times are:
Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 8.30am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-6.00pm.
Wednesday: 8.30am-1.15pm and 2.00pm-5.00pm
Thursday: 8.30am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-6.00pm
Saturday: 9.30am-6.00pm
Sunday: 3.30pm-5.00pm


Artist Michael Pendry on Les Colombes

“Folded by different people, the doves in their unity stand for such a fundamental human right.  The time has come to admonish and to stand up for this – for the right to peace and freedom! So that  that the flock of doves might grow, from place to place, from country to country, across all borders.”

Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Sam Wells on Les Colombes

“Like the best liturgy The Doves is about words and signs and sounds and space – and its glory is its elegant simplicity. When at his baptism the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove Jesus wasn’t blown away – he was touched more deeply that words can say or eyes can perceive. That’s what this exhibition is about – and what’s more, it affirms that the Holy Spirit works through the humble hands of you and me. ”


About artist Michael Pendry

Michael Pendry was born in Stuttgart, grew up in Munich and partly in England, where his father comes from; his mother is from Bayreuth/Germany. He works as a designer and artist in both countries. Michael Pendry studied interior design, stage and set design at the FH Rosenheim and, for several projects, at the art academy in Munich. Pendry is driven by his desire to reach out to those people who do not normally visit cultural venues. Among countless other installations over the years “Das apokalyptische Weib” for the Long-Night-of-Museums in 2006 and the light and video installations “Sacre Coeur” and “Störung” (Disturbance) have been some of the highlights in the career of this multimedia artist to date and showed his great innovative talent in finding new means of multimedia expression and catching the interest of thousands of people. Lighting the rotor blades of a nearly 100 metre high wind wheel just outside Munich in 2010 with ”Star of the South” was definitely one of his most ambitious projects. With this project he also attained a new level in his public profile in the national press and media, and even in France and Spain.  Two of his latest installations, Les Colombes and Urban Paradise  in 2014, also became popular successes and were reviewed throughout the media. Pendry, a multi-talented artist, worked at a well-known theatre in Munich, the Kammerspiele, for two years as a stage designer with Dieter Dorn as director. The so-called “Werkraum”, an experimental space for young people from the theatre, was one of the platforms where he could demonstrate his passion for the world of drama and acting.