Riding a Wave

This large scale sculpture created by artist Lucy Glendinning responds to its architectural surroundings of steel and glass and is designed to look as if it is coming out of the corner of the building. The figure is balanced on top ‘riding a wave’ in reference to Plymouth’s nautical history, relationship to the sea and the act of defying gravity.

Photograph of the Riding a Wave sculpture reflected in Drakes Circus glassArtist: Lucy Glendinning
Date: 2006
Location: View on our Public Art Map [desktop and tablet; requires Google sign-in]
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Chapman Taylor

Project Description

Photograph of the Riding a Wave sculpture outside Drakes Circus

Riding a Wave is comprised of a polished 306 stainless steel base and the figure is lacquered aluminium. It is highly atmospheric; standing prominent in situ and in particular light, is reflected in the surrounding glass, creating a sense of movement. Glendinning stated she wanted to give the viewer ‘a sense of possibility, potential of achievement, and therefore a lift.’

As well as historical nautical connections the sculpture was installed opposite Plymouth University where you can study surfing and marine biology. The work alludes to a relationship with the sea throughout the city and also to the space and balance of personal freedom and accomplishment.

About the Artist

Lucy Glendinning is a sculpture and installation artist. Art is her primary tool for investigating psychological and philosophical themes, providing conceptual content to her works. The aim is to create pieces that feel accessible to the public, Glendinning stated of her work:

“One is supposed to pass it on the street, and in a brief moment understand what the work is communicating.”

Photograph of the view underneath the 'Riding a Wave' sculpture