2 November 2012
Standing at 20.25 metres in height and weighing over 25 tonnes, ‘Verity’ is a modern-day allegory for truth and justice. The figure’s stance is taken from Edgar Degas’s ‘Little Dancer of Fourteen Years’ (c. 1881) referenced by Hirst in his earlier bronze ‘Virgin Mother’ (2005). An anatomical cross-section of her head and body reveals the developing foetus in her stomach. The title is from the Italian word for truth, whilst she holds the traditional symbols denoting Justice – a sword and scales – the scales are hidden and off balance behind her back whilst the sword is held confidently in her upstretched arm. Without the perfect equilibrium enacted by the scales, the sword becomes a dangerous instrument of power, rather than justice.
'Verity' was made in over forty individual castings at Pangolin Editions foundry in Gloucestershire. The frame was fabricated in a single piece of stainless steel. The bronze parts were cast in pieces using sand molds, which were then metalworked and reassembled around the steel frame. The sword and upper arm is a single piece of glass fibre reinforced polymer and the entire piece underwent significant windtunnel testing in order to ensure it was capable of withstanding the extreme force of high winds and sea spray.
Aspects of this complex fabrication process are shown through the above images which offer an exclusive insight into the foundry’s practise. Details and images cataloguing her journey and installation in Ilfracombe can also be seen along with a short film of her progress.
Film © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012