Art: The Big Fish

The Big Fish, also called ‘Bigfish’, is a 10 metre long sculpture by artist John Kindness sitting on the banks of Donegall Quay. Constructed in 1999, the scales of the fish are made out of ceramic tiles, which are decorated with prints of images and texts that relate to the history of Belfast. The eyes contain prints of photos that were taken looking across Belfast Harbour from the top of the Harland and Wolff cranes.


The Ulster museum provided most of the historic images, ranging from Tudor times right up to the present day, and local schools along the line of the River Farset were also asked to provide some drawings to put on the fish.

‘Bigfish’ was commissioned to celebrate the regeneration of the River Lagan and return of the salmon to its waters.

Beneath the sculpture, under the ground, is the location of the confluence of the River Farset with the River Lagan. The River Farset, after which Belfast is named, now runs through a tunnel underneath the High Street as it was gradually covered over in the 18th century.

Within the fish is a time capsule containing various pieces of information, poetry and images about Belfast, and, including the sculpture itself, will give a great snapshot of this wonderful city.


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