Statues on the move

2011-06-02, , Comments

Please give generously

It’s not every day you see a 6.7m statue being lifted on to a balcony so this morning I happily sat in the sunshine to watch the installation of Damien Hirst’s Charity at the RWA.


First the tarpaulins were pulled off her. The main crane made a blind pass, registering the location of the plinth on the balcony, judging the required extension. Now they attached chains around her neck and at the base, padding the neck with blankets. The strapping which fastened her to the trailer was removed removed. Slowly slowly she rose from supporting timbers on the tailer. They lowered her to the gound and tilted her on to her feet. The foreman wore a golden hat. It all seemed calm and controlled. Clearances were small. The pavement stayed open.

Charity on her way up

According to BBC Bristol Charity will be here for a year, adding:

The RWA said Bristol-born Hirst has “scuffed her appearance and burgled her charity box to highlight the erosion of society’s values”.

As the big statue rose slowly into position, smaller sculptures left the building, pushed out on trailers and bundled into the back of a van. The David Backhouse exhibition had ended.

It was the end too for the Backhouse sculpture so recently installed in the RWA forecourt. Vandals had succeeded in separating the two figures at the top of the sculpture from the one at the base. Today, the base figure was unbolted from her low plinth then lifted and strapped down on an open trailer where the other two, who had been wrapped in sacking and left on the floor outside the building, rejoined her.

Broken and on the way out