30. Splash

Peter Lewis (Canada). Engineered by Water Sculptures (UK)

SPLASHSplash 2Splash 3

Canadian artist Peter Lewis loves to create magical transformations in the landscape.  Here he will turn the Kingsgate footbridge into a huge illuminated waterfall.

Thirty years ago Welsh-born Canadian artist Peter Lewis created an extraordinary artwork that has delighted residents and visitors on bank holidays ever since.  The Great Divide Waterfall is located on the high level bridge in Edmonton, Canada, and is 64m high - higher even than Niagara Falls. 

Now Artichoke has commissioned Lewis to create a new, illuminated, waterfall, Splash, especially for LUMIERE 2011.  This spectacular installation will be situated on one of Durham's great modern landmarks, the Kingsgate footbridge, which was commissioned in 1963 to join the University and the city.  The Kingsgate Bridge was the last building to be designed by the great engineer Ove Arup, whose ashes were scattered from it on his death.  For many years a bronze bust of Arup was housed in the adjacent Durham University Students' Union.

Splash has been engineered by the Morecambe-based company Water Sculptures, a family firm founded 40 years ago, now known all over the world for their ability to do anything difficult with water!

About the artist

Peter Lewis was born in South Wales and studied at St Martin's School of Art in London before emigrating to Canada in the 1970s.  After numerous solo exhibitions, he began to work in the landscape and has created several ambitious projects in North America. Although he's most celebrated for theGreat Divide Waterfall, he is also known for instigating a wedding gift to Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in the form of more than 1,200 bonfires from Scotland to the Channel Islands. Architectural projects have included work for Clive Piercy and Cowichan Tribes in British Colombia. At his home in Vancover Island, Peter has built the Bright Angel Garden, a 10-acre water garden that includes a 2-acre lake, 14 fountains and the largest prayer wheel in North America.

Peter's future projects include theWater Totem for Duncan, City of Totems (Canada) in 2013.  His epicDove Project, a vision that will see a peace dove drawn by approximately 1600 bonfires from horizon to horizon every 20-25 miles across North America and built by different communities and religious groups, will be realised in 2016 after a 20-year gestation.

Comments (4)

  • This was amazing. I was really even more impressed when I found out that it was all done by a small "British" family firm.

    Hope to see more things of this sort!

    - Elisha Hodgson

    27 Feb 2012
  • I met Peter and he is one of the most fascinating and intelligent people you could ever meet. So grounded and appreciative. He has created amazing works.

    - priya kanabar

    20 Nov 2011
  • I missed this and was disappointed that time constraints did so Might go again though

    - Garry Smith

    19 Nov 2011
  • traveled up from worcester to see this. Breathtaking!!

    - andy lewis

    19 Nov 2011

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