The Salmon of Knowledge, of Big Fish sculpture

The Big Fish is a printed ceramic mosaic sculpture by John Kindness. It was established in its current place in 1999. It is a 10 metre long representation of The Salmon of Knowledge (in Irish: bradán feasa), an animal figuring “The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn”, tales that feature in Irish mythology.

The story tells of a fish that eats some hazelnuts that had fallen into the Well of Wisdom. After devouring the nuts, the salmon gained all the knowledge in the world. According to the tale, the first person to eat the fish would gains all of its knowledge.

The outer skin of the fish is a cladding of ceramic tiles decorated with texts and pictures relating to the history of Belfast. It features images from Tudor times to present day newspaper headlines along with contributions from school children across Belfast (including a soldier and an Ulster Fry). It also contains a time capsule storing information, images, and poetry on the City.

Do you want to learn more about the history of Belfast? See these bouys on my Titanic Quarter & Maritime Belfast tour!