Mr Hirst is in the news again!

Today’s Daily Telegraph paper edition had an interesting item about the lovable Mr Hirst. The electronic interweb version seems to be a bit more restrained, but does include the “real” title of Verity,  so I’ll give an extract from the paper version:

“Damien Hirst is planning to erect a giant statue of a naked pregnant woman brandishing a sword near his seaside restaurant.

“The 66 ft. 5 in. sculpture – 10 inches taller than the Angel of the North – will stand at the entrance to Ilfracombe harbour in Devon. Councillors believe it will help revitalise the Victorian resort’s economy. But some disgruntled locals have named it the “Belly of the South”.

“Hirst, 47, who lives four miles away, has agreed to lend North Devon council the work for an initial 20 years ….

“…. Local residents, traders and tourists shown mock-up photos were largely hostile. Bobby Davies, the social secretary of Ilfracombe Yacht Club, said: “Tell me they’re not really going to do this. People will come to look at it – probably to have a good laugh at our expense.” “

The report in the Daily Mail was even more scathing and included:

“The bronze finished figure, which has a stainless-steel frame, will hold a glass-fibre sword aloft and a pair of scales behind her back and stand on a plinth of law books, staring out to sea…

“… One local source last night said 47-year-old Hirst had added the books at the 11th hour to ensure it would be taller than Antony Gormley’s Angel Of The North, erected in 1998.”

Come now! Damien wouldn’t stoop so low, would he?

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About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website johnpindararts.weebly.com
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8 Responses to Mr Hirst is in the news again!

  1. This may be the one and only time I ever agree with the Daily Fail.

  2. Nancy Farmer says:

    I love it! and I think ‘the Belly of the South’ is a fine title, and of course those extra few inches are important 😉 From the photograph, or mock-up or whatever it is it seems to embody grace, power and humour all in one, which is impressive, but I also find the symbolism very interesting: I don’t know Hirst’s intention, but the attributes – the sword and the scales – are those of the figure of justice. Justice, though, is importantly blindfold, because justice is blind to the individual being judged and only concerned with pure justice. Allegedly. This figure is brandishing the sword, and hiding the scales behind her back, but importantly, if she is gazing out to sea, she is not blindfold either. And she is pregnant. Did justice at last form an opinion? Fall in love? Did someone have her wicked way with her and she is out for revenge? Is she going to smite first and then weigh them in the balance… or perhaps finish them off with the brass scales. Does climbing on top of the law (books) bring a mere ‘slip’ of a girl eye to eye with all the statues of famous dead white men? Very interesting play with symbolism. Like I say, I have no idea about what Hirst’s intentions are, but it’s supremely entertaining, and also beautiful!

    • Nancy, there’s nothing beautiful about this sculpture. It’s a mockery of women and women’s bodies.

      She appears to be reaming herself up the backside with the “scales of justice”. Every bit as tacky and trashy as that horrid sculpture of Britney Spears giving birth.

      Objectification is not flattery. Women are conditioned from birth onwards to accept it as such, but that doesn’t make it true.

      Subjects treated with real respect aren’t required to be naked. How many statues of powerful men show them unclothed? Only women are required to make their bodies available to eyeball rapists, 24/7.

      Feminism. Get some.

    • Totally agree with you Nancy

  3. Since when did Feminism embrace censorship? It disturbs me that some feminists think it’s ok to ally themselves with the extremist and religious right, who would happily shroud us in head to toe clothes to remove us from public sight. I think the Belly of the South is a beautiful celebration of pregnancy. Why should pregnant women be considered so hideous that they have to be covered up in tents? This is the only thing I’ve ever seen by Damien Hirst that has in any way appealed to me. I hope it happens.

  4. themofman says:

    I don’t get it. As a dedicated visual artist, I totally understand when some artists deliberately and accidentaly push the envelop but there are also times when even I have to ask, “Why bother?” This is one of those times.

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