Who remembers singing this little ditty as a young child? We were learning without knowing….
One, two, three, four, five.
Once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine ,ten,
Then I let it go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on the right.
The other day I caught a fish.
It was this [ – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -] size! No Really!
The Big Fish ~ Ceramic
Artist: John Kindness Date: 1999
This ten metre Salmon has been sitting on the waters edge at Lagan Weir in Belfast, for over ten years. The work was commissioned to celebrate the regeneration of the River Lagan. It is located where the River Farset meets with the River Lagan.
Colourful little number!
The outer skin of the fish is a cladding of ceramic tiles decorated with texts and images relating to the history of Belfast. The Big Fish also contains a time capsule storing information, images and poetry about the city.
On close inspection you will find little nuggets right from Tudor times to the present day. There are contributions from Belfast school children. including a soldier and an Ulster Fry – Those Ulster Fries, often referred to as a heart attack on a plate, turn up everywhere!
The Ship Yard
The Ulster Museum was the primary source for historic images, while local schools and day centres located along the line of the River Farset were approached to provide drawings for the fish. Images were provided by Glenwood Primary School, St Comgalls and Everton Day Centres.
How many do you recognise?
John Kindness is one of Northern Ireland’s best known artists, particularly in relation to the work he has produced for public spaces including Big Fish at Donegall Quay in Belfast (1999) and Waterfall of Souvenirs (I will feature this next week) at the Ulsterbus Station in Glengall Street, Belfast (1991).
He has had solo exhibitions in the Ulster Museum, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Art in General, New York and Third Eye Centre, Glasgow.
His work has been is included in many private and public collections including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the AIB Bank.
I have my eye on you!