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iMigration 2, by Anthony Head

Start date: Tuesday, February 7th 2017
End date: Monday, January 7th 2019

Last summer, we were delighted to host iMigration, a unique temporary installation as part of the Forest of the Imagination festival. The sculpture made such an impact on us and our visitors, we've invited the artist, Anthony Head, lecturer and researcher at Bath Spa University, to recreate this wonderful experience in our South Transept.

iMigration 2 by Anthony Head is a large-scale sculpture, a swarm of colourful paper butterflies, spanning five metres and suspended ten metres up in the air inside the Abbey. The first impression for the audience is of a single group, a swarm of creatures that appear to be the same. Closer inspection reveals that each butterfly is unique, with its own digital genetic code and individual wing pattern influenced by random mutations.

The sculpture, like its predecessor iMigration, continues the exploration of the themes of migration, diversity and individuality. In the swarm each butterfly features colour and patterns designed with computational methods: procedural textures and the fractal mathematics of nature. The butterflies move gently in the air currents that fill the Abbey as if travelling on a migration. In today’s world of human migration and its reporting, it’s easy to forget how unique each person is, to reduce people to anonymous groups, stereotypes, or just numbers.  This work challenges us to think differently.

The artist invites us the audience to seek out individual stories of migration, of fellow human beings in a world saturated by ‘mass’ media reporting, statistics and the digital consumption of news.

16 million

Start date: Wednesday, October 10th 2018
End date: Tuesday, November 13th 2018

As part of Bath Abbey's events to mark the Centenary of World War 1, we are once again teaming up Martin Elphickand will be displaying one of his works on site.

'16 Million' is a single-copy book, in which 16 million dots represent all of those who died as a result of the First World War. It has proved to be a very effective and moving way of visualising such a large number.

The work is to be curated next to the Waller memorial in the Abbey's South transept alongside the Abbey's Book of Remembrance. It has been previously displayed in exhibitions, libraries, poetry meetings, a gallery, schools, etc.

For more information please visit


Name Unknown by Paul Hollin

Start date: Friday, November 2nd 2018
End date: Monday, November 12th 2018

"12 portraits of men from the First World War, developed from photographs captioned “Name unknown”. The intent of these pictures is not tribute. Nor is it nationalism, nor an invitation to ponder on the stories of these people. I know nothing of their lives, their views, their beliefs, or their fates.

The work is about ‘now’ as much as ‘then’. It seems important for all of us to be aware, whatever our nationality, that we have a connection to people ‘unknown’ to us: people no longer living, who were involved in scenarios most of us cannot really imagine, and played a part in the shaping of our present lives. This connection feels ever harder to grasp in the fast-moving flow and change of contemporary life."

Paul Hollin, Sept 2018

For further information about the portraits or to contact the artist direct, please email