Artist sorry after sculpture mistaken for floating corpse

An artist who crafted a sculpture mistaken as a dead body floating in a Suffolk creek has apologised to the “poor person” who called the police to report it.

On Wednesday (9 August) fire services, coastguard and the police were telephoned by a member of the public who alerted them to the motionless figure of a man lying in Butley Creek near Orford. What could have been a grisly find was in fact a bronze sculpture created by artist Laurence Edwards called ‘A Thousand Tides’, which has been in the creek for over a year.

A gift from Edwards to the local area where he had a studio and foundry works for 15 years, the work was designed to be seen at low tide and to eventually sink to the bottom of the creek. Instead, the ‘body’ stayed on the surface for much longer than Edwards intended. “I’ve always been a bit worried that a helicopter would spot it and want to rescue it”, Edwards admitted.

Suffolk police were said to be surprised by the work’s realism. Edwards considered that convincing someone that it was a real person was “a great achievement”. A figurative sculptor, he states on his website that his work “attempts to do justice to the locality and its history, by peopling it with large figures that have survived the ravages of the water and the elements“.

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