The Big Fish

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Coordinates: 54°36′05″N 5°55′18″W / 54.6015°N 5.9217°W / 54.6015; -5.9217

The Big Fish
Bigfish Belfast closeup.jpg
ArtistJohn Kindness
Dimensions3 m × 10 m (9.8 ft × 33 ft)
LocationBelfast, Northern Ireland

The Big Fish [1] is a printed ceramic mosaic[2] sculpture by John Kindness. The 10-metre-long (33 ft)[1] statue was constructed in 1999[1] and installed on Donegall Quay in Belfast, Northern Ireland, near the Lagan Lookout and Custom House.[3]

The Big Fish's image appears on tourism material related to Belfast and Northern Ireland.[4] It is a representation of The Salmon of Knowledge (Irish: bradán feasa), a creature figuring in Irish mythology. It is sometimes identified with Fintan mac Bóchra, who was known as "The Wise" and was once transformed into a salmon.


The outer skin of the fish is a cladding of ceramic tiles decorated with texts and images relating to the history of Belfast. According to the Belfast City Council, each scale "tells a story about the city".[3] Material from Tudor times to present day newspaper headlines are included along with contributions from Belfast school children (including a soldier and an Ulster Fry). The Ulster Museum provided the primary source of historic images, while local schools/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.

The Big Fish contains a time capsule storing information, images, and poetry on the City. -John Kindness


The work was commissioned to celebrate the regeneration of the River Lagan. The site is a significant landmark as it is the location of the confluence of the River Farset with the River Lagan (Belfast is named after the River Farset).[2]

The Big Fish was funded by the Laganside Corporation and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund, through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.[2]



  1. ^ a b c "Laganside Art Trails: Art Trail 2". Department for Social Development. Government of Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 24 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "The Big Fish". Guide to Public Art. Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 22 January 2003.
  3. ^ a b "Tourist attractions along the Lagan". Belfast City Council. Government of Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 26 September 2010.
  4. ^ "Send an e-card » The Big Fish by local sculptor John Kindness". Go to Belfast. Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau. Archived from the original on 24 March 2006.

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