June 30 – A Trip to Ilfracombe

'Verity' by Damien Hirst

Hi from 1066 – Medieval Mosaic

Not a great day weatherwise so Alfie waited patiently while Mike and I worked on the website. Later in the afternoon, it cleared up a bit so we decided to go into Ilfracombe for a ride. This time we ended up right down on the seafront and the harbour. The Landmark Theatre is an award winning theatre. It has an unusual double coned design locally referred to as ‘Madonna’s Bra’. It was built to replace The Pavilion Theatre, a Victorian building partly destroyed in a fire during the 1980’s and later demolished.

Verity is a stainless steel and bronze statue created by Damien Hirst.

The 20.25-metre (66.4 ft) tall sculpture stands on the pier at the entrance to the harbour in Ilfracombe, Devon, looking out over the Bristol Channel towards South Wales. The name of the piece refers to “truth” and Hirst describes his work as a “modern allegory of truth and justice”.

The statue depicts a pregnant woman holding aloft a sword while carrying the scales of justice and standing on a pile of law books. Half of the sculpture shows the internal anatomy of the pregnant woman, with the foetus clearly visible.

The sculpture was cast in stainless steel and bronze in 40 separate sections. The sword, which gives the statue much of its height, and the upper left arm is one polymer-strengthened fibre glass piece. Before being cleared for erection the statue was subjected to tests in a wind tunnel to ensure that it could cope with high winds and spray from the sea. Measuring 25cm (10 inches) higher than the Angel of the North, Verity became the tallest statue in the UK when it was put into place.

Damien Hirst, who lives in Combe Martin, has loaned the statue to the town for 20 years starting from its erection on 16 October 2012.