Inspired by the journey of the swifts and still furthering the theme of my sculpture, I, along with Professor Yossi Leshem, am organising a flight of light aircraft. We will be flying with nature.
The flight will take place on 2nd April 2019; these aircraft will fly alongside the swifts and numerous other migratory species. We will be departing from Eilat, flying up the Jordan Valley, landing at Masada, then fly over the Dead Sea, hopefully landing in Amman before circling Jerusalem. The journey will finish beside my Tree of Hope. On the way we will be landing at other airfields such as Masada, which is over 1200ft below sea level where we shall see efforts that are being made to secure the future of the Sea.
The flights will fly along side nature. They will represent the link of nature to people. They will highlight the stories of the ordinary people beneath and the co-operation between them - for example the Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians working together on a surprising number of farming projects, as well as specific endeavours such as the Barn Owl Project
In short, the flight will look beyond the cliches. They are about nature and people. Professor Yossi Leshem is a world expert on bird migration, he and his team will help to co-ordinate the flight, from start to finish. The flight will end at Muristan following talks (featuring prominent speakers from naturalists to astronauts) focusing on the natural world and its relationship to the modern human world. The talks will be held in Jerusalem.
Professor Yossi Leshem
Ricky Arnold , one of our crew
We plan to record the journey on film and in script in which author and historian Joshua Levine shall join me, the sculptor and report from areas over which the aircraft have flown in order to delve into local stories. Susie Coreth shall be recording a video blog as we go…
These stories and the personalities, an account of the flight, the talks and the situation on the ground will be serve as a lasting monument to this journey into hope.
Dmitriy Muravsky, one of the worlds best aerial photographers, will be joining the flight to make a photographic record.
You will find on Youtube “The Tree of Hope, The Swifts’ Project” a short film showing the creation of the Tree of Hope made by Lucy Lion.
Flight from the UK
9 aeroplanes and crews from the UK are going to be participating in the flight, carrying participants in the Abrahamic flight, guests VIP’s, filming makers et al.
The flight out at the end of March will be governed by weather windows, if March 2019 is anything like March 2018 then a challenge will be afoot! Weather might govern the departure date and indeed the return date. We shall depart in a disciplined way on our last leg to Israel on 29th March 2019 departing from Larnica in Cyprus.
The route from the UK will in rough terms be through France, Italy and Greece to Crete and across to Cyprus before finally flying to Haifa in Israel. I anticipate this taking 3-4 days. The whole trip will span 2 weeks.
Two of the nine participating aeroplanes
Coreth, the sculptor at work moulding the olive tree in Tantur, Bethlehem