The Marble Brain of Norwich

This, I think, was the first ‘proper’ photo I took with the phone I had recently bought at the time - a BlackBerry 8520, seeing as you asked, so not a high-spec camera.  In spite of that, it did itself proud here:

We were in Norwich for the day.  It’s somewhere we used to go to a couple of times per year, often to Cinema City.  It’s a lovely city where the rather spectacular cathedral is faced with Caen limestone and is famously home to peregrine falcons.  The city has a good-ish number of picturesque flint buildings reflecting more local geology and there are some quaint older buildings as well as some modern monstrosities, but the latter are another story.  We were just wandering along Haymarket and we chanced on a group of sculptures – I didn’t think they’d been there long at the time (April 2012) but a bit of research showed that they’d been unveiled in 2007 and that they are a tribute to the 17th century doctor and royalist Sir Thomas Browne who lived and practiced in Norwich.

The brain is my favourite sculpture of the group.  It is sculpted from Arabescato marble, one of the varieties from Carrara.  When the weather and the brain are slightly damp it looks unbelievably organic and it is incredibly tactile.  I am not generally a big fan of modern art but I do have to say that this is one impressive piece.


  1. Yes – I know it! As steet sculpture it is miles better than the tedious abstract blocks of stone we have in Diss, with sententious words inscribed on them.
    Thomas Browne is an interesting character. I am lucky enough to have a 1686 edition of his collected works (boast boast)!

    1. I wish we had street sculpture of this standard around here, as well!


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