Ishinki Touchstone Manchester

Image by Denise Tench

Ishinki Touchstone – Big gorgeous pebble

If car-lovers are petrolheads, then call me a marblehead. There’s something indescribably pleasing about smooth, fluid artworks, interiors or stairs made of pure marble. Each piece’s texture, colours and patterns are completely unique, something that invokes so many questions and thoughts about experiences, life and time. Hmm…just me?

However, until I can visit the Taj Mahal, I will have to console myself with Manchester’s Ishinki Touchstone.

The Ishinki Touchstone sounds like something from a Haruki Murakami novel and may be just as mystifying in the cold, smooth flesh.

A beautiful, pebble-shaped public sculpture, the touchstone sits peacefully outside Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall.

The music and events venue is often bustling and provides ample footfall for this underrated piece of artwork. You can often see people touching, posing or staring at the unusual pale kidney bean.

Commissioned in 1996 and created by Japanese sculptor Kan Yasuda at this workshop in Italy, the Ishinki Touchstone was jointly sponsored by Manchester Airport and the Arts Council Lottery Fund.

For me, the 18-tonne artwork inspires feelings of awe, joy and admiration. Its hypnotic curves remind me that the universe, life and possibilities are infinite.

Draw some inspiration from this gigantic pale friend while you’re in Manchester and let me know what you think – I hope it turns you into a fellow marblehead.

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Details about this spot



Lower Mosley Street, Manchester

Opening Times

24 hours daily


Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)