A new sculpture commissioned by the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem has an inspiring message of peace, writes Lucy Lyon.

The city of Jerusalem has innumerable ancient roots, but the newest has just been planted. British sculptor Mark Coreth has created Tree of Hope.

Commissioned by the St John Eye Hospital, it’s a bronze olive tree with a canopy, not of leaves, but swirling swifts, and stands in a courtyard in the centre of Muristan, a Crusader hospital complex near to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The olive tree is emblematic of the city and its people and Mark sees the swifts as ‘a symbol of hope for the world at large, as they travel thousands of miles on their annual pilgrimage through the Holy Land to the north’. Mark has also travelled around the Holy Land, attaching further bronze swifts to hospital walls in Gaza and elsewhere in the West Bank.

‘The swifts around the world are part of the same sculpture,’ he explains, ‘so this project will spread further and further as the idea spreads its metaphorical and literal wings.’

A documentary, The Tree of Hope, will be shown in London later this year. Visit www.markcoreth.com for further information.