Shearing the Water


Competition entry, Titanic Quarter Belfast, Northern Ireland

This proposal was influenced by research into Belfast’s golden age of shipbuilding at Harland & Wolff Shipyard, the famous Titanic and her launch. The discovery of the close proximity of the breeding grounds of the Manx Shearwater nearby both here and off the coast of Newfoundland where she sank was also inspirational. These birds are renowned for their flights across the Atlantic.
The sculpture consists of three abstract linear prow forms in stainless steel. The leading steel bow rises from below the water line to 13 metres in height.
Three Manx Shearwater birds lead the bows to sea representing global travel and the resting place of the Titanic which is on the migratory route of these local birds from the Copeland Islands, Belfast.
Water pumped from below would fan out between the prow plates in a bow wash creating an illusion of movement.

At night, lighting strategically placed within the prow create a lit porthole effect suggesting an illuminated ship under steam.

Concept by: Charles Normandale and Julie Brooks-Hill
Photographer: Julie Brooks-Hill