Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cormorants: made from girders

Keith, who blogs here, has just posted some fine photos of cormorants, which put me in mind of this interesting piece of ornithologically-inspired public art called 'Taking Flight' by Craig Knowles, that you can see at the North Dock Marina at Sunderland, near the mouth of the River Wear.

It takes the form of five girders embedded upright in the quayside, on a pier that juts out into the river, that gradually morph from solid steel to a cormorant about to lift-off from its perch.....

.... and pays tribute to Sunderland's shipbuilding industrial heritage and the cormorants that still perch near the end of the quay and fish in the river.

If you visit this website you can play with a 360 degree panorama which shows the whole series of scultures in context

Anybody know of any further pieces of ornithologically-inspired public art?


  1. Very unusual Phil.
    I do like that second one, drying the wings. Perfect pose.

    Thanks for the mention too

  2. HM - that's kinda cool! The artist's mind never ceases to amaze.

  3. They're pretty good I must say. As for further examples, there are a couple of entertaining sculptures of 'birds' on the field boundary wall adjacent to the coastal path to the north of Boulmer in Northumberland. Worth a look next time you are up there. I've got some photos somewhere...

    Meanwhile, I'll post a photo on my blog (http://standandstare-nyctalus.blogspot.com/) of a stag sculpture you might enjoy made entirely out of old car and tractor bits. Now that's art!

  4. They're fantastic sculptures.... and Keith, the photographs in your blog are a real joy!

    The only bird-inspired sculptures I can think off-hand are the various stone ones placed on various buildings round the market square in Durham. I'll be looking out for more from now on though.

  5. Hi Keith, one day maybe I'll catch a real cormorant perching on one of the statues.. now that would be a picture

  6. Hi Ellen, you're right, it takes an artist's mind to look at an iron girder and see a cormorant

  7. Hi Lesley, I'll look out for those next time I'm in Durham market square

  8. Hi Nyctalus, thanks, I'll look out for the Boulmer scultures.... and I've just had a look at that stag sculture on your blog at http://standandstare-nyctalus.blogspot.com/2010/01/junk-male.html
    ... it is brilliant!


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