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1st Jul, 2022

'Seeking Sanctuary' - Unique temporary temple to commemorate nation's loss during Covid set to open in Bedworth before being torched next weekend

A UNIQUE temporary Covid memorial has been constructed in Nuneaton and Bedworth – the birthplace of George Eliot and the country’s largest Armistice Day Parade.

Sanctuary will stand as an unforgettable structure and space of healing, built by the local community to commemorate the nation’s loss during Covid.

Sanctuary, third in the memorial trilogy from artist David Best, is an intricate wooden structure being created in collaboration with the local community of North Warwickshire, creating opportunities to develop carpentry skills and beyond.

Famous for his temples at Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, David’s vision is for Sanctuary to be a healing space for everyone to come back together after isolating and challenging two years for us all.

Produced by Artichoke, in association with Imagineer and supported by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Warwickshire County Council and DCMS Culture Recovery Fund, Sanctuary will be built in the stunning Miners’ Welfare Park in the heart of Bedworth ‘the town that never forgets’.

Sanctuary will offer an extraordinary spiritual space for communities to come together to mark the losses of the last two years by donating words, objects or mementos left to adorn the walls of this monument to the resilience of the human spirit.

It opens to the public tomorrow (Saturday, May 21) and will be ceremonially lit next Saturday, May 28, as a powerful symbol of catharsis and rebirth.

This is a project for the whole community and one that will put Nuneaton and Bedworth firmly on the map.

Sanctuary has been bringing people together from across the area and provide opportunities for employment and training, working through community groups and local partners.

Californian artist David, who was trained in sculpture at the San Francisco Institute of art has created work which includes using found objects to embellish cast porcelain figures and art cars.

In 2000 he began the tradition of building ‘Temples’ at Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada to commemorate the life of a crew member who died during construction.

David has since built eight different ‘Temples’ at the event with the help of hundreds of volunteers and the Temple Crew.

Over the years these structures have taken on a spiritual significance, becoming spaces for remembrance and forgetting, each ritually burnt to the ground at the end of the event.

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