Verity. Proudly guarding Ilfracombe Pier. Verity. Damien Hirst’s sixty-five-foot bronze and steel sculpture.
See Verity Stay At The Carlton
By Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst’s Verity stands proudly on Ilfracombe Pier, guarding the harbour entrance and looking out over the Bristol Channel. The world-famous artist has loaned the 65-foot sculpture of bronze & steel to the town for 20 years, a town he very much loves, and lives nearby.
Verity is 25 tonnes of pregnant woman. Her skin is partially flayed with internal anatomy displayed; foetus clearly visible. She is holding a sword aloft, hiding the scales of justice behind her back while standing on a pile of books, and is not to everyone’s liking. It has certainly remained a talking point since October 2012, and will remain so for many more years.
Damien Hirst describes his work as a ‘modern allegory of truth and justice’. The name Verity historically refers to ‘Truth’ and the sculpture’s whole stance has unofficially been likened to that of Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer of Fourteen which Hirst has previously been inspired by when creating Virgin Mother, a similar sculpture and part of a collection of similar artworks.
Often called grotesque and a ‘marmite’ curiosity, we at The Carlton absolutely love Verity. We applaud Mr Hirst for loaning her to the town as a re-energised and local artist community has developed to complement this large piece of public art.
Ilfracombe Councillor, Mike Edmunds, said it would attract visitors.
“I think there is a tremendous feeling of optimism, especially from traders. Something like Verity is going to make a great difference to the economy of Ilfracombe because an enormous number of people will come to see the statue. There is still controversy over the design, people either like it or not, but people can make their own interpretation of the statue.”
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