The Dean writes: “Winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2016, Carriers of Hope is a charity which holds a special place in the hearts of all of us at the Cathedral and which we are keen to support. Separately, we also have a commitment to exhibiting work by contemporary British artists. This project, Carriers of Hope: Because You’re Loved, provides a combination of the two in an exciting and engaging project. I commend it to our visitors to the Cathedral and hope that you will enjoy the exhibition, which is located in the Chapel of Christ the Servant.”
Carriers of Hope: Because You’re Loved is the title of a collection of forty-two original drawings by artist Rosie Brown, telling the story of the work done at Coventry-based charity, “Carriers of Hope”, which supports refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. The framed drawings will be on display inside the Cathedral from 14th September to 12th October 2017.
It is the first time this project has been shown and is a continuation of Coventry Cathedral’s tradition of, and commitment to, exhibiting work by contemporary British artists. The drawings will be displayed in the circular Chapel of Christ the Servant, where the shape of the space will enhance the sense of this exhibition featuring a community of people. “Carriers of Hope” provides practical support to these vulnerable people, complementing the work carried out by other local services. Set up in 2009 by Sue Sampson, it has supported over 1000 families so far. It provides everything a newly-arrived person needs from food, clothing, furniture, cooking equipment, bedding, toys, nappies, as well as catering for individual requests. The exhibition is a celebration of the work of the charity and encourages the audience into an intimate engagement with the individuals featured in the portraits.
The project highlights the sense of community, which is of immeasurable value to those accessing the charity. New people are welcomed, listened to, provided for and loved. The cost of framing and exhibiting the work has been generously funded by private sponsors. The artist, Rosie Brown, connected with “Carriers of Hope” after having been impacted by the news stories about the refugee crisis across many parts of the world.
Having spent time working alongside the volunteers, getting to know those who serve at the charity and making drawings of the people and activities there, Rosie will give the original drawings to the individuals at the end of the exhibition.
The Exhibition Guide features text from interviews with some of the volunteers, a large percentage of whom were originally recipients of support from the charity. The drawings themselves encourage the viewer to see the dignity, value and humanity in each person, a unique and precious individual.