Manual Ref* NFnrNOR181 Show 2 images 208

Utopia (No-place)

County Norfolk   District Council Norwich 
Civil Parish or equivalent Norwich  Town/Village* Norwich 
Road Duke Street 
Precise Location 4 Duke Street accessed from the top of Westwick Street 
OS Grid Ref TG227087  Postcode NR3 
Previous location(s)  
Setting Car park  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
Rory Macbeth  Artist(s)  assisted by 
Students from the Norwich School of Art & Design     

Commissioned by

Outpost Gallery Norwich, with support from Arts Council of England East, Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council and Norwich Gallery 

Design & Constrn period


Date of installing

Commenced 26-Jun-06 

Exact date of unveiling

8-Jul-06 (Preview) 


Abstract Animal Architectural
Commercial Commemorative Composite
Free Functional Funerary
Heraldic Military Natural
Non-Commemorative Performance Portable
Religious Roadside, Wayside Sculptural
Temporary, Mobile Other  

Object Type

Building Clock Tower Architectural
Coat of Arms Cross Fountain
Landscape Marker Medallion
Mural Panel Readymade
Relief Shaft Sculpture
Statue Street Furniture War Memorial
Other Object Sub Type: Site-specific installation

Subject Type

Allegorical Mythological Pictorial
Figurative Non-figurative Portrait
Still-life Symbolic Other

Subject Sub Type

Bust Equestrian Full-length
Group Head Reclining
Seated Standing Torso
Part Material Dimension
Building exterior (three sides)  White paint  H 7.2 m (artist's measurements of building: 38 m x 25 m x 15 m) 

Work is

Extant Not Sited Lost



Listing status

Grade I Grade II* Grade II Don't Know Not Listed

Surface Condition

Corrosion, Deterioration Accretions
Bird Guano Abrasions, cracks, splits
Biological growth Spalling, crumbling
Metallic staining Previous treatments

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate

Description (physical)

40,000-word text hand-painted in white around three sides of a former Eastern Electricity building scheduled for demolition in 2007, coinciding with EASTinternational 2006 

Description (iconographical)

The art work aims to bridge two utopian moments: the idealism that would have accompanied the first opening of the new Electricity Building and the similar idealism that will inevitably accompany the next development of the site. The text wraps carefully around the building, highlighting its relatively non-descript features and overall shape, thereby turning a 100-page book into a physical object and making a derelict part of the architectural fabric of Norwich into a more clearly delineated object of temporary wonder and poignancy. Thomas More's classic novel is presented as social critique - 'cloaked criticism of post-feudal England'. Hence the writing being realized in the style of protest graffiti, which similarly, the artist suggests, expresses 'an idealistic plea to change the world' 


Date taken:  22/4/2007
Date logged:  3/5/2007

Photographed by:
David Hulks

On Site Inspection

Date:  22/4/2007

Inspected by:
David Hulks

Sources and References accessed 22-Apr-07 / accessed 22-Apr-07: article by Sarah Morley, 'Utopia Painted On Norwich Building for EASTInternational', 30-Jun-06 / accessed 23-Apr-07 / accessed 22-Apr-07 / accessed 23-Apr-07 


Date entered:  23/4/2007

Data inputter:
David Hulks