Waiting for Fish - Environmental Public Sculpture

by Holly Bendall in Helston, , United Kingdom

We did it
On 31st May 2022 we successfully raised £20,140 with 80 supporters in 28 days

This life size sculpture will be moulded and cast in bronze to be positioned permanently on a traditional fishing harbour in Cornwall

by Holly Bendall in Helston, , United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Any funding over the target will go towards developing the 'Waiting for Fish' project further by experimenting in other mediums and engaging a wider audience

‘Waiting for fish...’ is a sculpture piece inspired by a man and seagull (Dave & Bird) I observed and sketched in Cadgwith sat on the cliff gazed out to sea... waiting for the local fishermen to come in.  


The purpose behind this project is to highlight the importance of small boat fishing in Cornwall and hopefully pose the question of where our fish comes from. 


My aim for this life size sculpture (which is currently made in plaster) is to have them moulded and cast in bronze using the traditional lost wax process to then be positioned permanently on a traditional fishing harbour in Cornwall which is still active today.


Some communities in Cornwall still rely on fishing to survive – many of us have got so used to the convenience of buying fish in the supermarket without even questioning where it comes from.  

Not only does this sculpture pose questions of a Cornish heritage point of view but also a sustainability and environmental one.


Trevor Osborne (owner of the Porthleven Harbour and Dock Company/Osborne Charitable Trust and board of directors for Porthleven Arts Community) has given permission for Dave & Bird to be installed in Porthleven harbour as a permanent, free and accessible public sculpture for the local community and visitors. They will also cover the installation costs.


Porthleven used to be a thriving fishing ‘port’ – which relied on the successful pilchard season for its prosperity, and it seems fitting that Dave would have a permanent home passed by the small handful of fishing boats that still operate out of the harbour.  


Two plaques will be made and mounted next to the piece, one with the environmental message to share the story behind the project and the second for the names of the supporters who are able to contribute a significant amount towards making the project happen.

It is important to mention that this is a not-for-profit cause and all funds will go directly towards funding the 'Waiting for Fish' project.

The minimum amount of funding needed is £20,000, this will cover the materials and labour costs to get Dave & Bird from how they are now to being moulded and cast in bronze using the ancient technique of lost wax casting (12 week process) as well as covering the costs of making the plaques and fulfilling the rewards offered.


We are aiming to have Dave & Bird made and installed ready for the unveiling on the opening ceremony of Porthleven's Art Festival - 24th September 2022

The Mussel Shoal  - an alfresco fish shed/restaurant in Porthleven have very kindly offered to do a fish bbq with drinks on the opening night 


We are also offering the opportunity to go out on a traditional fishing boat in the harbour and observe the sculpture piece from the water with Mollie May Charters


A very special limited edition of 50 etchings of the 'Waiting for Fish' sketch of Dave & Bird will be made for the early supporters of the project - each one individually printed by hand onto a gently textured 100% cotton Somerset paper - using the traditional methods at John Howard's print studio in Penryn, Cornwall


A separate limited edition of the first 100 giclee prints will be made of the sketch and printed on Hahnemühle bamboo paper and supplied with a mount ready for framing

There will also be the first 5 mini Dave & Bird solid bronze sculptures available from an edition of 50 available to pre-order (dimensions: 16 x 8 x 10cm)


The 'Waiting for Fish' etching and mini sculpture will be exhibited this summer (25 June – 10 September) in Falmouth Art Gallery - who are staging an exhibition entitled ‘Hevva! Hevva!’

‘This family orientated exhibition will use stories from Cornwall’s fishing industry to explore the issues past and present. Visitors will be introduced to the huer who saved a village from starvation with his amazing dreams, artists who went to live amongst fisherman, fisherwomen, the history of the gansey and the harsh realities of fishing for a living.  On display will be a fine selection of traditional and contemporary paintings hung alongside illustration, sculpture and automata.’


Ultimately my vision is for Dave to be a guardian of the sea - I hope he inspires positive change for our future generations.


Any support towards the project is hugely appreciated - please share with anyone you think that might be interested in supporting us - thank you

Holly, Dave & Bird

If you’d like to keep in touch and follow our journey...

Instagram: @holly_bendall

Website: www.hollybendall.com


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£25 or more

Personalised Postcard

Personalised thank you postcard with photo of Dave & Bird

£5 or more

Shared Boat Trip to see Dave - under 14's

A special opportunity see Dave & Bird from the water in a traditional fishing boat out of Porthleven harbour, 15 mins round trip with up to 11 people on the afternoon/evening of the 24th or 25th September 2022 (weather dependant)

£10 or more

Boat Trip to see Dave - Adult

A special opportunity see Dave & Bird from the water in a traditional fishing boat out of Porthleven harbour, 15 mins round trip with up to 11 people on the afternoon/evening of the 24th or 25th September 2022 (weather dependant)

£35 or more

1 of 150 claimed

Fish BBQ with Dave

The Mussel Shoal are cooking up a local fish bbq with drinks for Dave & Birds unveiling on the opening night of the Porthleven Arts Festival - 24th September 2022

£75 or more

2 of 100 claimed

'Waiting for Fish' Giclee Print

The first 100 of the limited edition signed giclee print 'Waiting for Fish' sketch mounted and printed on Hahnemuhle bamboo paper (ed. 1000) size A5

£100 or more

12 of 50 claimed

'Waiting for Fish' Etching

A very special limited edition signed etching of the 'Waiting for Fish' sketch each one hand printed on Somerset paper - a gently textured 100% cotton paper (ed. 50) size A5

£500 or more

Your Name on the Plaque

An opportunity to have your name on the plaque mounted next to Dave & Bird for any donations of £500 or more

£2,000 or more

3 of 5 claimed

mini Dave & Bird Bronze Sculpture

The first 5 of the limited edition mini Dave & Bird solid bronze sculptures made using the ancient technique of lost wax casting are available exclusively as a pre-order (ed. 50) 16 x 8 x 10cm

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