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Original Commission:

The Norfolk Way Art Trail



Also Exhibited At:


Diss, Norfolk, UK

Flock is inspired by the flights of birds, schools of fish and the swarms of eels, which are synonymous with the Mere and the nearby River Waveney. toyStudio has aimed to respect the local uniqueness of the Mere, complementing the environment it is set to sit in. Flock does not only mimic the behaviour of the wildlife, but it also represents the movements of Diss’ own residents. Just as the Mere’s wildlife has migrated to Diss over the years, many different communities have arrived in Diss and explored its culture and heritage.

Flock is formed of a collection of curved, metallic, tubes which vary in length and spiral upwards, sensitive to its surroundings, reflecting the colours of seasons and flowing with the movement of local wildlife. Each one of the tubes are designed to represent the individual directions we take within a community and how we move forward together as one. The artwork therefore becomes a metaphor for the community of Diss – “flocking” through life. The sculpture’s overall form responds directly to the Mere, intending to evoke its ominous depth. The artwork grows from a narrow base, spiralling upwards, expanding in radius as the members disperse.

The local community has been invited to share their stories which were curated by local Poet and collaborator, Bel Greenwood, which will then be showcased on to part of the Flock installation. Messages will be imprinted onto the flock, giving a place for the community to tell their stories and provide a moment for quiet contemplation and reflection.

Fabrication: Art Fabrications
Engineering: Format Engineers

A murmuration above the mere,
the comings and goings of generations,
people from every walk of life,
A gathering that like a flock of birds feeds, rests and flies.

The mere is the heart of the town,
A wide well of water scooped out of the ice age,
An eon-deep pool cupping the centuries,
A harbour, a haven, a home.

The lights on the water create
a carnival of welcome,
Greet new neighbours,
Brought in on the tide,
Man, woman, and child.

Tom Paine stood at this water’s edge,
a head full of revolution,
John Betjeman strolled by with a head full of words,
Kings, murderers, the innocent,
Whispered their secrets on shrouded nights.

Diss embraces the mere
remembering in a voiceless dreaming,
Swimming galas, skaters etching its frozen surface,
The cricket match, one unforgiving season,
played on ice.

The birds fly from roof and church tower
A community of sounds echo in the air
Carry across the mere
A mingling of languages, a marriage of thoughts, a wash of ideas,
Of all the people coming here."
-Bel Greenwood

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