Woodland Spirit – Diana
Materials: Bronze, polychrome
Dimensions: 180 x 80 x 80cm on arch plinth 130cm high, (3 + 2AP)
Exhibition history: 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Courtesy: The Artists, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Pangolin Editions
Water occupies a significant position in Lucy + Jorge Orta’s work and in 2012 they created a 30km parcours of life-size sculptures portraying the mythical spirits along the Huveaune river in France. Diana, formely known as Ubelka, the ancient name of the river Huveaune and a water goddess, was renamed in 2014 to reflect her current location at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Diana Beaumont lived on YSP’s Bretton Estate from the late 1700s until her death in 1831 and was instrumental in landscaping the lakes and gardens.
The sculpture’s new name also references the Roman goddess of the hunt, wild animals and woodland, who was believed to have the power to talk to and control animals. This and Diana’s position surveying YSP’s 18th century designed landscape, alludes to the complex relationship between humans and nature.