Award Jake Lever


Jake Lever: Soul Boats


Jake Lever: Soul Boats

In 2015 Birmingham Cathedral celebrated its Tercentenary by organising a high profile programme of special events and activities under the banner ‘come and see’. Birmingham based artist Jake lever was commissioned to devise a large scale temporary installation as a centre part of these ‘birthday celebrations’. The brief was to create an artwork that was both aesthetically outstanding in the context of the space, as well as engaging a broad cross section of Birmingham residents, from the youngest to the oldest, of all faiths and none. Jake designed a template in card, and through an extensive programme of community engagement, invited 2,000 participants to each create a ‘soul boat’, using drawing, painting, collage and writing, to reflect upon their journey through life.

The Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, the Dean at the time reflected:

“The golden flotilla floated above worshippers, visitors, staff and those who wandered in, as a great prayer from the people of the city. the unseen thoughts and prayers were honoured within the privacy of the boats, lifted up to God. Jake Lever was quite brilliant in catching the moment int he life of the cathedral. His sensitive and soulful work won people (even sceptics) over to the value of an installation of contemporary art in church”


Title: Soul Boats
Artist: Jake Lever
Date: 2015

Artwork Materials: Installation

Commissioned: Birmingham Cathedral

Location: Birmingham Cathedral