Spirits of the Huveaune | Le Chemin des Fées - Ubelka la Fée du pont
Lucy + Jorge Orta, 2013
- Ref: 7053
- Materials: Aluminium, epoxy paint
- Dimensions: 175 x 80 x 80xm on arch 200m high
- Exhibition history: 2013 Moulin Saint-Claude, Auriol, Marseille
- Courtesy: The Artists, Fondation de France program Nouveaux Commanditaires, Rives & Cultures, Bureau de Competences et Desirs
- Concept: The Chemin des Fées is a parcours of five public sculptures Spirits that map the presence of the Huveaune, a coastal river in eastern Provence that originates in the massif of Sainte Baume and flows into the Mediterranean Sea at Marseille.
The five Spirits are derived from historical texts, legends and stories around the valley of the Huveaune and recount the feminine presence associated with the river. Our sources of inspiration are the legendry, supernatural and the imaginary that perpetuate the history and foundation of Massilia, the ancient port of Marseille. Lucy + Jorge Orta
These spirits, genii loci, invest five locations along the riverbanks and weave an unprecedented link between the past and the present. They invite visitors to discover a 30km trail along the Huveaune valley and new ways to explore the river. Referring to the universal water cycle, Spirits of the Huveaune raises public awareness of environmental issues related to the river’s fate, thereby raising the question of water management in the future, here as elsewhere.
In Celto-Ligurian, the ancient language spoken in the region, Ubelka, another name for the river, signified “destroyer,” a direct reference to the river’s tempestuous and unpredictable character. Ubelka was considered to be a soothing mother figure but she could also be capricious and redoubtable, much like the terrible flooding the river was renowned for.
Lucy + Jorge Orta have imagined La fée du pont – Ubelka as the spirit of an ancient footbridge. Niched in the breath-taking cliffs at Auriol, she is perched ready to leap forward to protect the beauty and serenity of the valley. Present since ancient times, she understands the value of water and symbolises ancestral knowledge. In the water cycle, Ubelka refers to the precipitation stage, where water returns to earth in the form of rain.
La fée du pont – Ubelka was inaugurated April 6, 2013 in on the bridge in the Moulin Saint-Claude, Auriol.