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Dalí's Diver Portwell Bench
Dalí's Diver Portwell Bench
Dalí's Diver Portwell Bench
Dalí's Diver Portwell Bench
Dalí's Diver Portwell Bench
Dalí's Diver Portwell Bench
Dalí's Diver Portwell Bench
Dalí's Diver Portwell Bench
Dalí's Diver Portwell Bench

© the artist. Photo credit: Jane Roblin / Art UK

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A three-sided stone bench incorporating a deep-sea diver and a quotation from the local eccentric Lord Berners. The sculptural bench celebrates the friendship between Salvador Dalí and Lord Berners who hired the deep-sea diving suit for Dalí to wear at the opening of the first surrealist art exhibition in London. Dalí is reputed to have first tried out the diving suit in the streets of Faringdon.

The weights around the neck of the diver are like masks representing comedy and tragedy, reflecting the manic depressive nature of both Dalí and Berners.

Dalí claimed the diving suit represented his exploration of the subconscious.

From the front, the quotation reads ‘a man who never has an occasional flash’, which would be difficult in a diving suit and represents Berners' childish sense of humour.

Dalí's Diver Portwell Bench


Bath stone

Accession number


Acquisition method

commissioned by Faringdon Town Council, Bloor Homes

Work type

Street furniture


Faringdon Town Council

Work status


Unveiling date

27th September 2014


at all times

Inscription description

set into sunken panels on the front and back of the bench and designed to be misread: MISTRUST / A MAN / WHO / NEVER / HAS / AN / OCCASIONAL / FLASH / OF / SILLINESS


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Located at

Market Place, Faringdon