Art with heart for refugees

Artist Arabella Dorman's work, Suspended, goes on show from today at the Canterbury Cathedral in southern Britain.

The art installation, which had had its first showing in London last December, is created from 1,400 items of clothing hanging from the ceiling of the cathedral.

The clothes, which were mostly left behind on the Greek island of Lesbos by refugees fleeing war, persecution and poverty, are Ms Dorman's way of bringing focus back on the plight of refugees around the world.

"There is a deepening and worsening crisis, but it no longer occupies news headlines," the artist told the Guardian newspaper. "People find it easy to turn away and forget - partly because they feel so helpless."

The baby rompers, jeans, pyjama tops, socks and mittens that Ms Dorman has used reflect how this crisis involves real people who had once worn these garments.

The artwork also talks about how many refugees remain stuck in limbo, uncertain about their future.

"I have tried to convey the chaos, the explosion of people's lives. It is about the fragility and vulnerability of human beings," she said.

The artwork will be on display at the cathedral until May 16.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2018, with the headline 'Art with heart for refugees'. Print Edition | Subscribe