Heavy Rock I Plymouth Sound

22 Jul 2015 – 22 Aug 2015

Event times

Gallery open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Private view will take place from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Cost of entry

Free entry.

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Plymouth, United Kingdom

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‘Heavy Rock’ is an exciting public art commission that aims to shed new light on Plymouth’s historic breakwater, featuring a new musical score by Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) with HM Royal Marine Band.


KEITH HARRISON - Featuring a new musical score by Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) with HM Royal Marine Band

A New Expressions 3 commission for Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.

This unique project will make a hidden process public as well as producing a contemporary response to the historic collections held at the City Museum and Art Gallery.

Each year up to twelve 100-tonne concrete wave breakers are cast at Oreston Quay and then placed in strategic positions on the breakwater. The wave breakers help reinforce this fascinating structure which lies at the entrance to Plymouth Sound protecting the harbour and anchorages. The work is overseen by the Ministry of Defence and Babcock.

Plymouth based artist Keith Harrison has intervened in the casting process of one of these blocks and has installed hydrophone sound technology inside it.

The block will be dropped into position on the breakwater on the evening of Saturday 18 July 2015 as part of a live public event. This event will also feature the first public airing of a brand new piece of music composed by British musician Will Gregory and performed by a 24-piece military band.

The sounds that are captured by the hydrophones inside the wave breaker will then be relayed back to land. From Wednesday 22 July to Saturday 22 August 2015 they can be heard as part of an exhibition at KARST. Which will include a wooden replica of the mould that Harrison has used to produce his 100-tonne wave breaker in collaboration with Babcock and the Ministry of Defence, and developmental drawings, film documentation and audio recordings of the live public event which will take place on 18 July.

‘Heavy Rock’ has been made possible through New Expressions 3, an Arts Council England national pathfinder programme that fosters collaboration between contemporary artists and museums.
‘Laying the Foundation Stone of Plymouth Breakwater’ by George Barrett the Younger, 1812.

For more information about the programme and all its associated events please visit: 


Keith Harrison

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Keith Harrison

William Gregory


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