Towards Stillness

Situated within the grounds of Leicester Cathedral, Towards Stillness celebrates the discovery of the remains of the last Plantagenet King, Richard III, in Leicester, and tells the story of this warrior king’s last moments in battle. Conceived as part of the award-winning landscaping of the cathedral gardens, it forms part of the wider redevelopment of this part of Leicester as a tourist destination.

Amongst the newly landscaped Cathedral Gardens
Echoing the gravestones
Inground lighting illuminates the silhouettes

The sculpture is aligned on the axis of Bosworth, where King Richard III died in battle, to Leicester Cathedral, where he was re-interred and expresses the moments before, during and after the final journey of King Richard III from Bosworth to Leicester.

Concept sketch model
Concept sketch - space
Concept sketch - time
Early sketch model

Twelve vertical steel plates represent these key moments, depicted by life-size silhouettes of King Richard III. These silhouettes are based as closely as possible on historical accounts and records. To create them, we consulted the Richard III Society historians, engaging historical re-enactors to model in a photoshoot, assisted by students from the University of Loughborough, who were shadowing the project.

Re-enaction to generate silhouette
Horse shield detail
Waterjet cutting steel
Distressing the surface
Lifting into position

Commissioned by Leicestershire County Council, we were initially inspired by the gravestones originally located around the cathedral gardens. It was very important that the artwork also related to its historic setting and surrounding Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II listed buildings. We selected materials and planting to complement the historic buildings and tie in with the overall masterplan. In-ground lighting adds further drama as the sun sets.


“Dallas-Pierce-Quintero were a joy to work with, and their work Towards Stillness in Cathedral Gardens provides a route into that story by means of public art. Since its inception it continues to inspire admiration and pique curiosity – which is exactly what we wanted.”

Rev Pete Hobson
Leicester Cathedral


Materiality gradient
Detail on final plate
View through the voids
Shadow play

The materiality and rise and fall in scale of the steel plates also articulate the different stages of the King’s story. The plates graduate from a polished stainless steel – evoking King Richard III charging at Henry Tudor – to a brushed steel, a mill finished steel, two increasingly distressed steel plates and, finally, to plates that are made from a corten steel with varying degrees of rust. The last plate rises substantially to express King Richard III being found and is situated so as to point towards the King’s final resting place; the tomb in the cathedral. This plate also features a list of key words that describe each of the moments expressed by the individual plates: ‘charged’, ‘reared’, ‘fought’, ‘slain’, ‘carried’, ‘exposed’, ‘buried’, ‘remembered’, ‘lost’, ‘sought’ and ‘found’.


Principal award winner as part of the Cathedral Gardens project in the Restoration & regeneration Category for the BALI National Landscape Awards 2015

Leicester 2014
Client: Leicester County Council
Collaborators: Momentum, Benson Sedgwick
Photography: Tom Gildon

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