The Woolf Institute has built a permanent new home in the grounds of Westminster College in the heart of Cambridge.
In a world marked by increasing division and instability, our new building is a much needed space to foster understanding and positive relations between communities in the UK and abroad.
- Sculpture in the Courtyard
Helaine Blumenfeld OBE is one of the most respected sculptors of her generation. Her marble and bronze sculptures stand in prominent locations around the UK. Helaine has created a beautiful new marble sculpture for the Woolf Institute entitled Tree of life: Encounter.
Helaine says "Tree of Life: Encounter was inspired by the aims of the Woolf Institute to bring about understanding between Jews, Christians and Muslims in order to reduce intolerance, as expressed in Ecclesiastes 4.12 'A threefold cord is not quickly broken'. Tree of Life: Encounter is a powerful statement of the struggle for unity, with three strands joining together at the base and moving upward through dissonance and chaos to a beautiful flowering of hope".
- Artwork in the Building
Artist Zachary Eastwood-Bloom was commissioned to create a centrepiece sculpture for the main entrance to the Woolf Institute's new building. Zachary developed an artwork based on a two-dimensional geometric pattern and 'extruded' it to create the three-dimensional sculpture suspended in the main rotunda, which appears to be a random array of gold lengths, like a crown of thorns, as you first walk in the main entrance of the building.
However, viewed from above or below, the true geometry of the pattern reveals itself, showing detailing found in the arts of all three Abrahamic faiths. The sculpture is emblematic of the work of the Woolf Institute by encouraging the viewer to take varying viewpoints to reveal alternative perspectives.
Read the interview with Zachary on our blog here.
The newest addition to our building is the Millat Ibrahim, or the Creed of Abraham, by Saad Al Howede. The artwork was created in 2021 and visualises the holy sites of the three Abrahamic faiths to showcase their interrelationship. The piece hangs in the Woolf Institute meeting room and can be seen from the garden when lit.
[Image: Cluster London]
The blue is a top view of the Temple in Jerusalem, the yellow represents the Basilica di San Pietro, and the green is a view of the Kaaba. The connections between the three faiths are further highlighted in the use of colour - mixing blue and yellow to create green.