How the statue might look in Ilfracombe
Ilfracombe Town Council has voted a resounding yes to the offer of a sculpture by Damien Hirst on a 20-year loan to the town. The bronze artwork shows a naked pregnant woman holding a sword and will be sited in the harbour. At 66-feet high (20 metres) it will be marginally taller than the Angel of the North (doesn't everything have to be these days?) and has, perhaps inevitably, been nicknamed 'the Belly of the South'.
The work has been hailed as a tourism opportunity for the town. John Brown, chairman of the Ilfracombe Tourism and District Association said, 'This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that can only increase visitor numbers. Tourism is the lifeblood of this town and must be supported in any way it can be.'
The planning application states that the sculpture will be placed on a bronze plinth of legal books and is envisioned as "a monumental modern allegory of Truth and Justice".
North Devon District Council now need to approve the plans.
Damien Hirst already owns a restaurant in Ilfracombe, 11 The Quay, has a home near Combe Martin, and has previously submitted a planning application for a development of ecohomes in the area, although it is claimed the artwork and the development are not linked. (See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/9086620/Damien-Hirst-to-build-500-eco-homes.html )
You can watch a video about the proposed artwork here: http://vimeo.com/45117056
You can read the heritage statement here:
Read the Telegraph article here:
The local paper have drummed up a bit of criticism too: