London's St James's Church in Piccadilly will host through February 9, 2018, the art installation 'Suspended' by Arabella Dorman, who wants to raise awareness on the plight of migrants.
A British artist, Arabella Dorman, has created an installation called Suspended, to raise awareness on migrant flows and help the public empathize with the plight of immigrants.
Dorman, whose installation is on show at London's St James' Church in Piccadilly, used clothes abandoned by refugees on the beaches of Lesbos, including a newborn's suit reading 'My 1st Christmas ever!,' pants, sweaters, gloves and shirts.
In total, the artist shipped about 1,400 items of clothing in 27 boxes from the Greek island. She then selected those she felt told the most moving stories.
''These clothes reveal what is now being forgotten''
The Guardian newspaper reported that Dorman visited Lesvos in 2015 after travelling to Iraq and Afghanistan. ''But nothing prepared me for the human drama on those beaches,'' the artist told the paper.
''It was so shocking to see the level of trauma, especially among children, the innocents caught up in war.''
Dorman says she saw '"thousands of items of clothing discarded by refugees. I was struck by the concept of the empty garment, evoking the hidden presence of the person who had worn that item. These clothes reveal what is now being forgotten."
Between a lost past and an uncertain future
Dorman's project took two years to develop from its conception. "It's been a slow burn," she says.
Suspended ''looks to reflect on the experience of the thousands of refugees who now remain stuck in limbo between a lost past and an uncertain future,'' the artist says on her website.
"The use of children's clothing, in particular, asks for an engagement with the current plight of unaccompanied minors, who face the very real risk of human trafficking, slavery and radicalization.''
The art installation follows another initiative on the same theme called Flight, which was also created by Dorman inside St James' Church during the Christmas Holidays in 2015/2016.
Art to support refugees
Suspended is also a fundraising initiative for the Starfish Foundation, an organization that supports migrant families and children who reach Lesbos. Starfish provided the clothes for the project.
''These are real clothes, worn by real people, with real lives,'' says Melinda McRostie, founder of the Starfish Foundation, in a video to present the art project.
During the holidays, the installation ''invites the viewer to embark upon their own journey of understanding and empathy, for the rootless and volatile experience of those caught between a past to which they cannot return, and a future to which they cannot move forward,'' Dorman says on her website.