Rich White

Diglis Island


February – September 2018, viewable from the towpath opposite

Occupation is a large-scale timber sculpture sited upon the mysterious Diglis Island, viewed from the canal towpath opposite. Painted stilt-houses gradually appear by the lock side with no identifiable purpose. The artwork evokes interest in the unsung residential and working history of Diglis, which at its peak was home to 80 people maintaining a large stretch of locks, canals and river. Rich White’s sculpture co-exists amidst the island’s other curious sights and secrets which include the imposing presence of a rusting derrick crane, a hidden orchard and a disused chapel. The intrigue of Occupation will evolve and deepen over a number of months as the artist remains in residence and adjusts and makes changes to its appearance.

Rich White is one of the UK’s most exciting up-and-coming sculptors, whose recent commissions have been sited at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea and the University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham. The artist’s edgy and irregular artworks entice viewers to experience spaces in a new way informed by authentic investigations into the location’s unique character and history.


A short film about the making of Rich White’s Occupation, by Mariyah Kamran.



View Occupation and Diglis Island up close on one of our Diglis Island Visit Days – on 13 Apr, 23 Jun & 30 Aug. Join our drop-in family workshop, What would you build on an island?, with artist Mark Riley on 12 Apr at The Commandery, to create your own mini-building out of wood and other materials. See our Events pages for more details and to book a place for an island visit.