Birds With Wishes

Good wishes arrive on the wings of fanciful works of art, created by school children in Aleppo, Syria. This exhibition, organised in collaboration with Places of ARcture, will be on display 14-20 June as part of the cathedral’s Refugee Week programme. 

The ‘Homing Pigeons: Birds with Wishes’ project is built around the idea of connection. In the natural world, many species of birds traverse huge distances in their annual, seasonal migration. Though they summer and winter in different locations, they are equally a part of and at home in each location within the great, interconnected web of the ecosystem. This exhibition represents a migration of good wishes and interpersonal connection that crosses boundaries and transcends the difficult and painful circumstances that so often contribute to barriers that block our connectedness.

The first installment of the project took place in the form of an art workshop involving 8 boys and 8, girls aged 9-10 years. The workshop took place at an art centre in Aleppo Syria, directed by Muhammad Achour (Places of ARcture), and co-organised and facilitated by Architect  Dania Al-Shelhawi who based in Aleppo.

The workshop guided the children to create pieces around the themes of birds, migration, dreams and wishes. Through a 3-hour session, the 16 children drew their favourite birds and give them a message represent their wishes to travel all the way to Ireland to be viewed by exhibition visitors here. After the workshop the drawings were shipped to Ireland for display. It is hoped later in 2021 to conduct a similar workshop in Ireland, and that the ‘birds with wishes’ created here will then be shipped to Aleppo to share with the children who created the first

For those who can’t join us in person, we’ve created this virtual exhibition so that you can see the children’s artwork and share in their good wishes.

Printable version of the exhibition booklet.

Exhibition Director: Architect Muhammad Achour

Workshop facilitator: Architect Dania Al-Shelhawi

Photographer: Mahmoud Aldin Babelly

Gathering the Flock