New Plymouth Rock

'New Plymouth Rock' was a concrete sculpture shown as part of The Atlantic Project in 2018. Located outside the Civic Centre it paid homage to 'Plymouth Rock' in Massachusetts, USA, a geological object claimed to be the first thing the passengers of the Mayflower set foot on when they arrived in America in 1620. Alongside this structure, a mobile app allowed users to manipulate the rock and share their unique versions of this historic item.

'New Plymouth Rock' by Tommy Stockel for the 2018 Atlantic Festival in PlymouthArtist: Tommy Stockel
Category: Temporary
Date: 2018
Location: View on our Public Art Map [desktop and tablet; requires Google sign-in]
Find past location on a mobile
Commissioner: The Atlantic Project
Producers: The Atlantic Project
Supporters: Arts Council England, Plymouth City Council, University of Plymouth, The Box, Plymouth Culture and Visual Arts Plymouth

Project Description

Since it entered cultural history in 1741 when the claims linking it to the Mayflower were made, Plymouth Rock has been treated as a historical object. Despite this, it has been broken and chipped off for souvenirs over the years as a result of various site re-locations.

Photo of artist Tommy Stockel 3D-scanning the Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts, USA

Taking this as a starting point, artist Tommy Stockel 3D-scanned the rock for the first time. He then created a life size replica for Plymouth – the place where the Mayflower set sail from in 1620.

The mobile phone app that accompanied the sculpture was available to the public for free. This invited users to play with further possibilities of the destruction of the rock and encouraged them to share their experiments via social media.

'New Plymouth Rock' by Tommy Stockel for the 2018 Atlantic Festival in Plymouth

About the Artist

Born in Copenhagen in 1972, Tommy Stockel lives and works in Berlin. Inspired by architects and writers just as much as fellow artists, he primarily works with sculpture – re-imagining proportions and dimensions as he explores the history of objects and their possible futures.

Related links

Find out more about Tommy Stockel’s practice on his website (Accessed 27 November 2018)

Read more about on The Atlantic Project website (Accessed 27 November 2018)

Read more about Plymouth Rock here (Accessed 17 July 2019)