‘Peace Tree’ commissioned as part of Pocahontas commemorations

PUBLISHED: 10:50 31 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:50 31 January 2017

Pocahontas statue

Pocahontas statue


The tree will symbolise the friendship between Gravesend and Virginia

A special ‘Peace Tree’ has been commissioned by Gravesham Council as part of events to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Pocahontas’ arrival and death in Gravesend.

The two-part sculpture, designed by Kent-based Animate Arts, is intended to symbolise the peace and friendship between Gravesend and Pocahontas’ homeland of Virginia, USA.

Made entirely from recycled paper and cardboard, the tree will reflect on the rich industrial heritage of paper-making in Gravesend, and the design is inspired by tree species growing in the area.

The design of the tree will be led by Artistic Director and visual artist Jo Dyer, and the bird will be created by sculptor Stephen Larking, who specialises in creating paper birds.

Ms Dyer said: “We are so delighted to return and work in Gravesend on this project. It is an absolute honour to create an artwork with the community in celebration of Pocahontas and all the community-minded values that she represented. We feel really passionate about bringing people together through our work.”

The sculpture will be unveiled at a special ceremony held in March, when one part of the artwork will be handed over to a delegation from Virginia.

Animate Arts is also running a series of free community workshops in local schools and at the Gravesend Borough Market to create eye-catching, giant feathers, similar to those decorating Native American headdresses, for a spectacular outdoor parade procession in March 2017

The workshops will take place on Wednesday, February 15 and Saturday, February 18, from 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4.30pm.

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