A Naiad

Public artwork by Mark Titchner, 2013

M Shed,
Wapping Road,



(A Naiad, Mark Titchner, 2013)


Titchner’s work for Bristol is based upon a redundant reduction gear which has been drawn from the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery collection, and which the artists has used as a basis for a sculptural work that examines the tidal system of Bristol’s floating harbour, and new cut, a tidal body of water and fixed lagoon system.

The gear, which was earmarked for disposal, weighs around 1.5 tonnes and is 2 metres in height. It has been re-engineered to represent Bristol’s dominant feature: water. A set of polished steel discs – referring to the tidal lunar cycle – move through an accelerated sequence symbolising the violent tidal motion of the New Cut. The Floating Harbour’s fixed yet tensioned stasis is depicted in the form of a circular pool which is mechanically vibrated, providing a constantly shifting surface. Together these elements present Bristol’s two key water bodies in their contradictory states in a work that is part tidal clock and part absurdist machinery.

The sculpture is named after the Naiads from Greek Mythology, (from the Ancient Greek word ‘Ναϊάδες’), which were a type of water nymph (female spirit) that presided over fountains, wells, springs, and other bodies of water. The title was chosen by the artist to evoke the works aquatic theme.

File:Naiad1.jpgA Naiad by John William Waterhouse, 1893

BMG K4958

(‘Narcissus’, c1500, Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives collection)

The City Council’s Museum Service has supported the work A Naiad by making it part of its permanent collection at M Shed, in a remarkable story of transformation from redundant industrial relic to contemporary art work.


As part of the launch of A Naiad, a number of Mark Titchner’s film works were shown on the BBC big screen at Millennium Square from 12th April 2013 and during Harbourside Arts Weekend 3rd – 6th May 2013. Films include ‘Work and Play’, ‘UP!’, and ‘Fear of Life’.




(Love and Work, Mark Titchner, 2012)



(UP!, Mark Titchner, 2012)



(Fear of Life, Mark Titchner, 2012)

Artworks available at http://www.seditionart.com/mark_titchner

‘Photography © Max McClure, www.maxmcclure.com’


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