Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Bethlehem Unwrapped

As I walked along Piccadilly the other day, I was surprised to find St James' Church replaced by an enormous concrete wall.  It seemed rather a dramatic thing to have happened quietly to this distinctive spot of central London!

So I looked a bit closer ... and found myself looking at a replica of the wall that is erected through Palestine, the 'separation wall' - something that has always reminded me of the Berlin Wall, which I tend to think of as one of those dreadful, inhumane things they used to do in the olden days.  It's easy to forget that such impossible inhumanities still happen every day.


The wall installation encourages us to add our thoughts to the growing graffiti.  But it also has a projection, showing a mixture of art by children in Bethlehem (all they paint is the wall), an evocative animation of how it would feel to have a wall erected before your very eyes in London, ripping through the centre of Picadilly, Trafalgar Square and separating you from everything that's familiar, and a collection of other pieces, also on display in the church itself, behind the wall.