20ft high bronze Damien Hirst sculpture revealed in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 17:38 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:36 27 March 2018
Copyright: Archant 2018
It stands 20ft high, is made of bronze and was inspired by a child’s anatomical toy.
And after being exhibited around some of the world’s most famous cities, Norwich is showcasing the impressive sculpture by acclaimed modern artist Damien Hirst.
Hymn, which shows the human form, weighs six tonnes and is valued at £2m, was revealed today on St Georges Street next to Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) where it will stand until July 15.
The delicate operation of installing the sculpture took several hours and attracted a crowd of shoppers, city workers and art students.
Professor Neil Powell, NUA pro-vice-chancellor, said: “This is a bit of a scoop for Norfolk and Norwich.
“I’m feeling excited and exhilarated. It is a very important event for the university.
“It is there as a lever for discussion.
“Damien liked the idea of the sculpture being in the city. He said he was thrilled.
“A large-scale sculpture is quite a difficult thing to showcase. It’s been quite a complex operation.”
The sculpture came about after six months of discussions between NUA and Houghton Hall, which is running a Damien Hirst exhibition until July 15.
Norwich City Council granted planning permission for the free-standing sculpture.
Over the past five years, Hymn has been exhibited in Monaco, Dubai, Naples and New York.
It is based on an anatomical toy previously owned by the artist’s son Connor Hirst.
“Mr Hirst thought it would be exciting to scale it up,” Prof Powell said. “He thought it was a good way to show the human body. Both the size and scale of the piece are important.”
The NUA chief added no-one objected to the large sculpture during the planning stages which showed Norwich was “receptive” to art.
It is the first time the artist has exhibited Hymn outside a university and the sculpture has been loaned out by the controversial artist for free.
The sculpture was transported on a 22 tonne lorry from Gloucester by Charles Russell Transport UK Limited.
It took several men, two lorries and two cranes to move the art installation onto the Norwich walkway, and a timelapse video created by Norwich University of the Arts and Copper Crayon recorded the entire installation process.
What do people think about Hymn?
Below are a selection of views of people about the Hymn sculpture:
■NUA graphic communication student Michael Kelly, 22, from East Harling, said: “I think it is a really cool thing for the university to do. It is a great thing because it is bringing art to Norwich rather than people having to go to London. That is what Norwich needs. It will be good to draw people in.”
■Art Angels Publishing owner, Chris Cordingly, 64, from Park Lane in Norwich, said: “It is brilliant. I love street art and have always felt we should have more sculptures around the city.”
He added it was exciting that a huge name like Damien Hirst in Norwich was “exciting”.
■Trunch retiree, Yvonne Wright, 73, said: “It is amazing. It is going to be wonderful for everybody. It is wonderful for the city, especially as it is going to be in an area where people walk through.”
What do you think about the Damien Hirst sculpture being displayed in Norwich?
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