Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Damien Hirst’s Giant Nude Statue Ready for Public Installation Despite Locals’ Complaints





“Verity,” Damien Hirst’s 70-foot-tall statue of a nude pregnant woman — with half her innards exposed, anatomy textbook-style — brandishing a sword, is all set to be hoisted into place at a seaside location in Ilfracombe, Devon, where it will stand for the next 20 years on loan from the YBA despite complaints from local residents.
The large public sculpture, which arrived today in the small town on a flatbed truck, the Telegraph reports, despite the town council receiving over 100 complaints and a report from residents accusing the artwork of being
outrageous, immoral, bizarre, obscene, offensive, disgusting, distasteful, embarrassing, grotesque, disrespectful, insensitive, inappropriate, a monstrosity, tasteless, ugly, vulgar and not in good taste.
“Verity” is being kept at a temporary location near the harbor before while finishing touches are made. It will be hoisted into place, weather permitting, on October 17 and 18.

Whatever locals’ moral or aesthetic objections may be, North Devon economic development manager Ellen Vernon says they will be offset by tourism and parking revenue. “The offer of the loan of ‘Verity,’ a significant and unique artwork created by the world’s greatest living artist, is felt to be of immeasurable value to the community of Ilfracombe in terms of its regeneration value and potential to improve the town’s tourism offer,” she told the Telegraph. “Costs associated with ‘Verity’ are of sufficiently small scale to be felt to be reasonable for the regeneration benefit expected, and in addition car parking revenue would be expected to increase, so off-setting such costs.”
Meanwhile, images of the in-progress statue (above and below) being hoisted from the artist’s studio, have appeared on Hirst’s website, giving a better sense of the scale and level of detail of the towering sculpture.

— Benjamin Sutton
(Photos: Courtesy the artist, photographed by Steve Russell © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.)