A giant statue of a pregnant warrior women, by Damien Hirst, that was installed in the seaside town of Ilfracombe, Devon, has split opinion.
Modern art doesn’t appeal to everyone but there is no way that you could overlook this towering 67 foot bronze artwork.
The statue, which is called Verity, is merely a loan to the local people, but a long term one that will last for 20 years. After all Hirst lives in the town and owns a restaurant there too.
It is described as ‘A modern allegory of truth and justice’ because Verity stands on a pile of law books while carrying the scales and sword of justice. But that is not the only reference – the pose of Verity is taken from the Little Dancer of Fourteen Years sculpture by Edgar Degas.
Although there were 100 letters of objection, Verity was installed on the harbour, with full planning permission from North Devon Council. Not everyone thinks the statue is ugly though, with some welcoming the boost to tourism that it will bring.
They included councillor Mike Edmunds who said: ‘We need to have a second string to our bow. As a holiday resort we’ve relied on our natural charm and beauty, but that’s not enough in the present day. Hotels are closing, so we’ve got to do something to boost the economy and we’re looking at the arts as a way of encouraging visitors. Art divides people, and because Verity is so controversial it will attract visitors. I can’t see in my own mind why there was such an outcry.’
One objector was Sue Dale, who owns the Darnley Hotel in Ilfracombe: ‘I think it’s more hideous than I did before, and it isn’t suitable for a Victorian seaside town. I think it’s disappointing that the money and the ideas couldn’t have been spent on a proper attraction to encourage people to come to Ilfracombe 52 weeks of the year. I feel very sorry for people who may have to look at it every day.”
Installing this unusual artwork was no mean feat with cranes needed to lift the 25 tonne figure into place. The statue was made in Gloucester using a number of castings of stainless steel and bronze. It has even been wind tunnel tested to ensure it can withstand the stormy conditions to which it is sure to be subjected during the English winter.
Damien Hirst is known for being a controversial artist having previously displayed a shark suspended in formaldehyde, and created another strange installation comprising a room of live butterflies. If you would like to live near Devon’s best areas of natural beauty, contact [p2p type=”slug” value=”contact-us”]Barton Park Homes[/p2p] today.