Cathedral relocates huge sculpture after texting visitors butt heads with it

The six-metre tall pair of clasping hands was designed for pedestrians to walk under

Sophie Ryder, The Kiss, Salisbury Cathedral

A sculpture made from galvanised wire, titled 'The Kiss', which is part of a new exhibition at Salisbury Cathedral called Relationships by artist Sophie Ryder [Ben Birchall / PA Wire]

A large sculpture of two hands clasped together has been removed and replaced in the grounds of a British cathedral after a number of pedestrians failed to notice it while walking and texting on the phones, bumping their heads on the 20ft structure.

The Kiss, created by artist Sophie Ruder, was situated over a main path running through the ground around Salisbury Cathedral, north of London. Members of the public were supposed to engage with the sculpture by walking underneath the pair of hands, but Ryder posted a video to her Facebook page revealing that the artwork was being relocated for health and safety purposes. 

We had to move "the kiss" because people were walking through texting and said they bumped their heads! Oh well!!

Posted by Sophie Ryder on Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Hearing the news that the sculpture was posing some problem, Ryder visited the site to observe how the public was interacting with her sculpture.

“There were hundreds of people there and I was watching them. I’d heard there might be a problem and I just went to watch to see if it was true, and it was. People were walking along the path and basically not looking where they were going because they were looking down at their phones,” she told the Western Daily Press.

“Once they felt the shadow of it over them, it would shock them into jumping a bit. I didn’t see anyone actually bump their head on it, but it was close. The gap in the middle is more than 6ft 4in, but at the side of the path you could bump your head, I suppose.” 

The cathedral reassured visitors that they could still see the Ryder’s work, with the sculpture relocated to a site on the cathedral’s lawns – off the beaten track for navel-gazing commuters looking at their phones.

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