Giant sculpture moved from walkway as mobile phones users keep bumping their heads

People walking and texting fail to notice Sophie Ryder’s huge piece of artwork on display at Salisbury Cathedral

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The Independent Culture

A 20ft-statue outside Salisbury Cathedral has been moved because people texting on their mobile phones kept bumping their heads on it.

The sculpture, called The Kiss, is part of the Relationships exhibition at the venue by renowned British sculptor Sophie Ryder.

The huge clasped hands were placed over a path so people could walk underneath them.

Mrs Ryder told the Salisbury Journal: "I made this sculpture so people could interact with it. I made it tall enough so 6ft4 men could walk through it. 

“You really would not be able to bump your head unless you were not looking and have to be on a phone looking down.

"No-one has really hurt themselves. We have moved it just in case as you never know.

"I don't put public art in place to get people annoyed. If they get annoyed I would rather move it and avoid any conflict."

The sculpture has now been moved to the lawn beside the path.

Mrs Ryder posted a video of the sculpture being relocated on her Facebook page, along with a caption saying: “We had to move "the kiss" because people were walking through texting and said they bumped their heads! Oh well!!”


We had to move "the kiss" because people were walking through texting and said they bumped their heads! Oh well!!

Posted by Sophie Ryder on Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Several people commented on the post, Alsion Hustwitt wrote: “Says it all about texting - no wonder people walk into lampposts and in front of cars if they can fail to see a ginormous sculpture and walk into it!!!!”

Lisa Wallis Williams said: “We saw your art in Salisbury at the weekend. We absolutely loved your rabbits and didn't walk into any of them! Sorry some people are complete numpties.”

Cindy Billingsley also responded, saying: “Oh good grief- they should be looking at the beautiful art instead of texting- so they deserve what they get if they are not watching where they are going.”

Dr Robert Titley, who is responsible for art at the cathedral, said the sculpture was particularly hazardous at night because it was difficult to see in the dark.

He told the Salisbury Journal: “The Kiss is a particularly magnetic piece which draws you to walk under it, however, we have found that some people find it hard to spot at night so we have moved it off the pathway.

“Visitors can still walk under it – and children are already playing round it — but no-one using the path in the dark will bump into it.”

The exhibition runs until 3 July.