Doubt: The Artwork Inspired By The Afghanistan Conflict

An artwork inspired by an Afghanistan veteran has gone on display in Southwark Cathedral.

"Doubt" is a giant dark cloud, which will hang high above the altar throughout Lent.

The artist created the installation after speaking to a British soldier about his feelings during a tour of Helmand.

The artwork will be displayed throughout Lent - a time of year which is particularly important in the Christian calendar, according to the church’s Sub Dean Michael Rawson:

“We often talk about faith in cathedrals and churches, but here we’re talking about doubt, and allowing people to say 'I find faith difficult'.

"This is like the embodiment, for many people, of their difficulties with faith."

doubt instillation

The artist behind this dark and brooding cloud is Susie MacMurray, and the inspiration for Doubt came while she was installing an artwork in Winchester Great Hall last year, as Michael told us:

"She had a conversation with a veteran from the Afghanistan war, who was talking about PTSD, talking about the tension of living on the front line.

"This great black cloud weighing down on his neck."

Clouds have featured in Christian tradition as far back as Noah, and the cloud is intended to carry a positive message:

"As you look at the cloud... above is a representation of Jesus in the stained glass window, so Jesus is shining through that cloud of doubt."

Made of black plastic netting, Doubt took two days to install, and it will stay suspended above the congregation until Good Friday, when it will be taken down.

doubt instillation