On Angel Wings

*On Angel Wings is due to descend on 14th October [2020] *

On Angel Wings is an installation that came into being following discussion on how we could offer the community a space to commemorate those who had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we slowly reopen following a turbulent 2020 and start to 2021, we realised people had been affected by this in more ways than we ever could have originally anticipated. What we wanted, was to provide people with the opportunity to be awed and provoke thought as well as allowing people an outlet; somewhere to palpably show their appreciation and respect.

Inspired by the installation in 2020 by our friends at Ripon Cathedral ‘On a Wing and a Prayer’, angels seemed like the perfect way to honour those who had served relentlessly throughout, those who had lost their lives, those whose lives had been disrupted and those who had fought to get through one of the toughest times they had known. An idea was devised to hang origami angels, each with dedications to loved ones, in the Abbey; therefore each angel representing someone or a group of people precious and cared about by someone else.

We contacted the Verger at Ripon Cathedral to help with the logistics of how we could go about hanging multiple thousands of origami angels in a 1,300 year old building, which had not had ease of access to the rafters built into planning and design! After much deliberation and consultation of architects, conservation engineers, rigging teams and planning committees, we realised this was a real possibility and the plan was put into action!

The resulting project is ‘On Angel Wings’; 4,500 origami angels, made by local schools, volunteers, Abbey staff and members of the public, suspended 45ft high in the Chancel of the Abbey. The angels stretch right to the High Altar from the start of the Old Choir Stalls and are lit from the sides. The angels are high enough that dedications can’t be read from the ground; keeping those memories and thoughts private but still present; much like a prayer.

On Angel Wings

On Angel Wings

On Angel Wings

On Angel Wings

I visited the Abbey in September 2021. I was blown away by the visual impact of the installation.

6 Comments CherryPie on Nov 5th 2021

6 Responses to “On Angel Wings at Hexham Abbey”

  1. What a wonderful installation! I would love looking up at that.

  2. So poignant and beautiful. The photos are lovely. It must have been such a moving sight.

  3. I have to say these angels look like fat pigeons (or doves if you like) ;)
    Make peace.