Spirit - Ubelka
Materials: Aluminium, polychrome.
Dimensions: 180 x 80 x 80cm on arch plinth 130m high (3 + 2AP)
Exhibition history: 2014 Galerie Valerie Bach, Brussels, Belgium; Studio Orta -Les Moulins
Courtesy: Collection of the Artists
In 2013, Lucy + Jorge Orta created a series of permanant public sculptures that map a 30 km parcours along 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 Spirits of the Huveaune. The five sculptures, 'Spirits' have been inspired by historical texts, legends and stories that recount the feminine presence associated with the river, and the foundation of the vcity of Marseille.
In the ancient language of Provence region of France, the river’s name was Ubelka, which 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. Ubelka is the spirit of an ancient footbridge, perched ready to leap forward to protect the beauty and serenity of the valley.