There are women you can’t pass by without stopping. Damien Hirst's bronze statue of a naked pregnant woman is one of them. Standing 20 meters high and weighing over 25 tonnes, “Verity” has been described as obscene by some UK residents.
The huge sculpture has arrived in Ilfracombe in Devon, where it is due to stand by the town’s pier for 20 years, a loan to the local council from the artist.
Verity’s frame is a single piece of stainless steel. And while it will take up to 10 days to assemble and install the sculpture, local residents are already complaining that apart from being “hideous”, “Verity” could encourage teenage pregnancy.
An anatomical cross-section of the woman’s head and body reveals the developing foetus in her stomach. The woman also carries a sword in her up stretched arm, and has scales hidden behind her back.
According to Hirst, creator of the famous platinum skull, his tour de force is a modern-day allegory for truth and justice. The figure’s stance is taken from Edgar Degas’s ‘Little Dancer of Fourteen Years’ which the artist used in his earlier bronze creation “Virgin Mother”.
“They would be better off dumping it off the edge of the harbor. What an eyesore!” one person wrote on the website of the North Devon Gazette. “I'll bet the councillor that allowed this rubbish can't see it from their house!,” he added.
A number of others described the sculpture as a “vile piece of work”, wondering why Hirst couldn’t have created his piece life size and display it in a gallery, so that “people including children would not be forced to see it.”
The sculpture underwent wind tunnel testing to ensure it can withstand high winds and sea spray.