See stunning wave sculpture at Norwich Cathedral
- Credit: Bill Smith
An immersive art installation inviting people to walk through a 10-metre wave of 3,000 fish has been created in Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry as part of the Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure exhibition at the Cathedral.
The visit of the Natural History Museum’s Dippy the Diplodocus cast to Norwich Cathedral aims to spark conversations about the planet and how it can be protected for the future.
And Norfolk-based artist Mark Reed's installation, Your Waves Go Over Me, puts the spotlight on the importance of water through the ages, from the time of dinosaurs right through to the modern day and beyond.
The title of the sculpture is inspired by a quotation taken from the Psalms (42.9): “All thy waves and storms are gone over me" - a reference to how, while the Bible and modern science differ about many things, they are in entire agreement that life as we know it emerged from water.
Ahead of seeing Dippy the dinosaur in the Nave, visitors to the Cathedral are invited to explore Reed’s wave of shimmering metal fish.
Each one was individually made in the artist’s studio in Ashill, near Thetford.
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It took a team of volunteers, including students from Norwich University of the Arts, a week to carefully weave the wave of iridescent fish together in the Hostry.
The piece has hidden depths. Look closely at the beautiful shoal and you’ll see pieces of litter scattered among the fish, which the artist intended to remind people of the damage that is being done to the planet and how we call all play our part in stopping it.
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Reed says: “Walking through the monumental breaking wave, visitors move backwards in time from the modern day with its pollution and plastics, past flotsam and jetsam of past eras including Gingko branches, cast bronze mice and bronze Ammonites until moving through the Ichthys fish to the Cathedral and ultimately Jurassic Dippy.
“The work invites the viewer to think about the central themes inherent in both the Dippy exhibition and the venue in which it is held. The work is a meditation of life on earth, from its origins in the very distant past to Dippy’s time and our own day, and a reminder of the total dependence all life on this planet has on the generative powers of water.”
He adds: “Water is intrinsic to all life on earth and the wave sculpture symbolises both its life sustaining powers and the potentially destructive forces that water can unleash, especially when combined with increasingly threatening manmade climate chaos.”
It is with this in mind that Reed designed and constructed the piece.
Every component of the work will be re-used after the end of the exhibition, so the wave sculpture will be transformed into other sculptures at his studio.
The individual fish are available for visitors to buy to display in their homes and gardens.
And all the other components have been loaned by local companies.
The lighting for Your Waves Go Over Me has been sponsored by Viking Stage Lighting and other elements used in its construction have been loaned by Tufts of Bradenham.
Sculpting in metal, primarily in bronze, forged steel, stainless steel, and aluminium has been a passion of Reed’s since 1995 and his sculptures are deeply rooted in themes of nature and his place within it, science, family and the passage of time.
His work can be found in collections around the world, and he has exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show and in sculpture parks and exhibitions throughout the UK and USA.
Reflecting on his latest work, he says: “It’s so great to have a sculpture in such a stunning setting. So much of my work has been transported to the US and Middle East and I love having a piece here in Norfolk, in the community that shapes me. It was a marvellous atmosphere working with a great team of volunteers from the Cathedral and Norwich University of the Arts, especially after the recent Covid lockdowns.”
Your Waves Go Over Me is part of the Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure exhibition which is at Norwich Cathedral until October 30.
To find out more about buying the fish from the installation go to wavewithfish.com and to see more of Mark Reed’s work visit markreedsculpture.com