On the Crest of a Wave at Sunrise, Ray Smith Artwork, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

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On the Crest of a Wave artwork by Ray Smith is located on Waterloo Crescent (Marine Parade) at the junction with New Bridge Street. The sculpture was commissioned by Dover Harbour Board, in association with IMPACT, and installed in January 1996. Also in view: part of the Tonkin Liu Artworks, the Hythe Bay Seafood Restaurant and Dover Sea Sports Center, the Prince of Wales Pier, and Lord Warden House.

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Comments (8)

John Latter on September 28, 2012

The sculpture won the 1996 Liberty Kent Public Art Award:

"Commissioned in May 1995, On the Crest of a Wave, is in artist Ray Smith's own words, "two white blocks of Portland Stone rising from a bed of textured sea green Kirkstone slate. From the top of the rocks can be seen two profiles of swimmers pushing forward into the rising wave of the stones and cut from a similar dark green slate." A landmark sculpture on a prime site, it is a part of Kent County Council's Town Centres Initative public art project.

The prize money was used for a schools competition enabling local school children to put forward their own proposal for an additional sculpture on the Dover seafront."

The artwork is part of the Dover Art Trail and has been referred to by the BBC as the "Channel swimmer statues" (see the "Swimming the English Channel" comment below).

John Latter

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

John Latter on September 28, 2012

About Ray Smith

Ray Smith was born in London in 1949 and educated at Southend High School and Trinity Hall Cambridge.

His awards include: a Linbury Trust Artists Award, the Deutscher Jugendbuchprels, a Major Award in the Sainsbury's 'Images for Today' competition and in the 7th Cleveland (UK) International Drawing Biennale. He was a prizewinner in the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 16 (1989-90) and received a Royal Society of Arts: Art for Architecture Award in 1993. He won the Rouse Kent Public Art Award for 1995-6. His work is represented in many public collections, including the Arts Council of Great Britain, Eastern Arts, Southern Arts, Contemporary Arts Society, Contemporary Arts Society of Wales, the Linbury Trust, Stadt Nurnberg, Manchester City Art Gallery, City Art Gallery Southampton, the University of Southampton and the Cleveland County Museum.

More at Biography: Ray Smith.

John Latter on September 28, 2012

Swimming the English Channel

After a seaman had floated across the English Channel on a bundle of straw, Captain Matthew Webb became the first to make the crossing without the aid of artificial buoyancy. His first attempt ended in failure, but on August 25, 1875, he started from Admiralty Pier in Dover and made the crossing in 21 hours and 45 minutes, despite challenging tides (which delayed him for 5 hours) and a jellyfish sting.

On September 6, 1911, after 15 unsuccessful tries, Thomas William Burgess became the second person to successfully make the crossing, with a total of 80 unsuccessful crossings made before Burgess duplicated Webb's feat, making the crossing from Dover to Gris Nez in 22 hours and 35 minutes. Burgess ate a hearty meal of ham and eggs before starting his swim and had only swum for 18 hours before he made the crossing, with his longest swim being six miles.

More at List of successful English Channel swimmers.

Also see:

The Channel Swimming Association - CSA, is the official body established in 1927 to promote, regulate and support Swimmers crossing the English Channel.

The Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation is a Governing Body for English Channel Swimming recognised by both the British and French Coastguards.

Channelswimming.com are the escort boats and safety team behind the London to Paris rowing races. The team is lead by Michael Oram and his son Lance.

The Channel Swimmers website: For people who want to, or have swum across the English Channel

John Latter on October 7, 2012

On the Crest of a Wave and other artworks are currently categorized under the Statue tag.

John Latter on October 7, 2012

Also see the "standing stones" in shadow:

On the Crest of a Wave Artwork at Sunset, Dover Harbour

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on September 28, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2011/09/14 06:52:49
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 38.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/8.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash