There has been rather a lot going on of late in the world of news that is of much more importance than the arrival of a new resident in the neighbouring county of Devon however when they were created by probably the world’s most successful living artist then that was always going to catch peoples attention. The fact that ‘Verity’ weighs in at 25 tonnes, is 66ft tall and made of bronze also helps make her pretty difficult to ignore.
OK. So what does this have to do with us? Well, firstly, it is another reason for people to visit the South West and Ilfracombe in-particular which like all seaside towns suffers from the seasonal ebb and flow of visitors. What is more, how often does the South West receive this much attention from the art world and the press in general? Thirdly, although they haven’t ‘officially’ admitted it yet this is clearly Devon’s attempt to out do Somerset’s ‘Wicker Man’ which if you have never driven down the M5, is positioned just south of Junction 23 and until recently appeared to be striding majestically across open fields. Now he looks as if he is trying to escape the creeping concreting of the countryside around the town. Unfortunately for Somerset, who also lost not all that long ago the M5 T-Rex, Devon surely have now moved into first place in the huge and rather peculiar statue competition.
I wish that I could reveal that the final thing that links Teapot Creative to Damien Hirst was that we had been commissioned to promote his latest exhibition or some other such project (don’t hesitate to call if you happen to reading this Mr. Hirst) but instead it is much more simple than that. Whilst trying to escape from the stresses and strains of running a successful design agency one of our directors, Barry, took his family down to Ilfracombe last weekend for a bit of a get-away. Whether or not he realised that last weekend and for the week that followed, Ilfracombe was going to be one of the most reported from places in Britain is unclear. Anyway, by the sound of things they not only had a lovely time but saw first hand the reason why the once l’enfant terrible of the British art world is back in the news again. ‘Verity’ was lying horizontally across the pier awaiting the huge crane to lower her into place and as you can see from the photo it almost looks like she is taking a nap or possibly hiding from the media scrum surrounding her. In my opinion and no doubt many of you reading this with an interest in design will agree, there is something much more exciting about seeing something being built or made rather than just seeing the finished article.
For the resident that commented to the Daily Telegraph journalist that “It would be so much nicer if it was a maritime statue, rather than a woman with half her foetus hanging out” I am sure that no amount of persuasion will be able to convince her that this could actually be what Ilfracombe needs to really put it on the map. I however am waiting to pay the town a visit with my family and make my mind up there and then for as with statues of all shapes and sizes, that is the only way to judge whether you like them or not.
One thing is missing though which I can spot simply by looking at the picture on my computer screen. A giant bronze cup of tea should be in her hand instead of the raised sword (it is Devon after all!)