Belfast 1: The Big Fish – aka Bigfish

He is. He’s huge! 10 m long!

He’s a printed ceramic mosaic sculpture of Belfast life and history, made in 1999 by the artist John Kindness. The pictures and text on the tiles are mostly from the Ulster Museum in Belfast, but there were also contributions from Belfast school children.


The Bigfish tells us many Belfast stories. He tells us about the hills that surround Belfast. This particular one is famous. Look closely, and tell me what it reminds you of.  Gulliver’s maker, who lived in Belfast at one point, has reportedly been inspired by this hill which reminded him of a giant’s face. Nobody knows for a fact, but we all like the story. Can you see the face of a giant lying, sleeping in the picture?

Whiskey. You can’t miss it in Ireland.


Bigfish tells the stories of the Belfast people, too.  The girl was a passenger on the Titanic, which was built in Belfast.

Can you see the dots on his back? They’re red drops under the ceramic glaze. Echoing the recent past, perhaps.

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  1. I have never seen a ceramic sculpture of that size! I like it a lot! It cheers up the dreary landscape~


  2. i agree with Joumana, it does brighten up the place. so cute and it’s my fave colour- periwinkle. 🙂 x shayma


  3. I must admit this was a particulary gray week in Belfast! I’m sorry not to have any photos of the rolling hills outside it… They were gorgeous.


  4. Nevjerojatno i prekrasno! Interesantno da mi nemamo takve ideje. Domet su nam ružni ratni spomenici ili ono što smo imali sreću naslijediti iz prošlosti. A da nemamo talentiranih ljudi!


  5. I love this – it has been a long time since I have been to NI, and I think this epitomises the new life the city has. The last time I was in Belfast I was quiet young, and it was a very different place.


  6. KATHAIRO, dobrodosla na moj blog!
    Mislim da se stvari ipak pokrecu, iako vrlo vrlo sporo. Siti se samo divnih zadarskih Morskih Orgulja!

    ROO, I loved the Bigfish, too. And yes, it does epithomise the new life in Belfast. I imagine it was a very different place indeed. I went on a very interesting tour of Belfast (run by the inimitable Arthur from Belfast Free Tours), that scratched deep beneath the surface of the life as it is today, with a good helping of “Culture, Politics, History, People and Craic”. It was a great introduction into the city.


  7. I ♥ this fish. What beautiful colours……..


  8. he’s gorgeous, isn’t he?
    welcome to my blog, btw!


  9. gorgeous fish!


  10. he is, isn’t he? there was another interesting piece of art that I saw in the streets of belfast, but i haven’t written about it yet because my feelings towards it are very divided. on one hand, i like the sculpture, esp one of the pair. on the other, the representation of women pisses me off… well well we’ll see


  11. prelijepa je! stvarno impresivno, a tako jednostavno :))



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