Japanese legend unfolds at Sunderland church

A call for peace
A call for peace
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A Japanese legend is unfolding at a Sunderland church.

More than 500 brightly-coloured origami cranes have been sent to Sunderland Minster from across the city and far-flung corners of the globe.

Artists Stephanie Smith and Lesley Cooper-Waite in Sunderland Minster's Yurt which they are hoping to cover with 1000 origami cranes.

Artists Stephanie Smith and Lesley Cooper-Waite in Sunderland Minster's Yurt which they are hoping to cover with 1000 origami cranes.

Artists are hoping to receive 1,000 of the paper birds in keeping with the ancient Japanese legend which promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish.

Contributors from as far afield as Japan, Germany and Holland have sent their cranes to the city centre church, and it’s hoped more people on Wearside will help them complete the challenge.

The birds will hang in the venue’s yurt as part of the All We Are Saying exhibition. Inspired by a line from John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance song, the display is an artistic response to world conflict and war and a call for peace.

It’s the brainchild of Sunderland artist Barrie West.

Some of the cranes in the yurt

Some of the cranes in the yurt

“The modern tradition of the 1,000 cranes started after Hiroshima,” he explained. “It’s considered good luck and a help in life to make a thousand cranes, which is in keeping with our wish for a move towards peace.

“It’s also a demonstration of our patience in getting a peaceful conclusion to what is going on in the world. We have had cranes made across the world but the majority have come from people across the local community. This is very much an outreach project and we want to get as many people as possible involved.

“We want Sunderland to stand up together and say ‘stop fighting’”

He added: “Anyone can get involved, all they have to do is look for an origami crane pattern on the internet, make it from any paper they wish, and post it to Minster.”

Artists Stephanie Smith and Lesley Cooper-Waite

Artists Stephanie Smith and Lesley Cooper-Waite

•Cranes can be posted to Sunderland Minster, High Street West, Sunderland, SR1 3ET

Craning for a good view

Craning for a good view