FULL FATHOM FIVE; Seafarer’s Sculpture: Michael Dan Archer; 2007/8

From the artist’s website

Seafarers Memorial Sculpture, Portmarine, Portishead 2007/8

84 x 48 x 9m. 108 Granite Pillars, texts, earthwork. Continuum Arts, Persimmon Homes.

108 granite columns varying in height from 3 to 1 metres are arranged in serpentine aisles across the earth mound, allowing spectators to traverse the work in varying directions and giving views of the adjacent Bristol Channel and the distant coast of Wales.

The sweeping form has the profile of waves, this and the texts from a poem by Stuart Clamp and notes on cargos and destinations link the piece with the sea and its theme as a memorial for seafarers. The pillars were made in a quarry in Xiamen in China and transported by ship to the UK for finishing in Dan’s Lincolnshire studio.”

Images from the artist’s archive

“One of the largest sculptures recently installed in the UK, the Seafarer’s Sculpture has been created by artist Michael Dan Archer. It consists of a forest of granite columns running across a large earthwork by the sea in the new Port Marine development in Portishead near Bristol.

The 108 granite columns vary in height from 1m to 3m and are arranged in serpentine aisles which the spectator can walk through to the crest of the mound where a stone has been set to sit on and contemplate the sea. From land or sea, the view reveals that the columns form the profile of a wave.

The sculpture was designed to evoke the atmosphere of the sea and to relate to historical and contemporary seafaring. It also indicates Archer’s preoccupation with enigmatic architectural form of ancient cultures.

Text relating to the seafaring history of the site and including the names of ships, cargos, destinations and parts of a poem relating to the sea, has been inscribed on many of the columns.

The sculpture was commissioned through Continuum Arts by Persimmon Special Projects Western and Arts & Business New Partners and was installed in the spring of 2008; landscaping has now been completed and the sculpture is being visited by large numbers of spectators.”

Jump to the place marker on the SEAA map here

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