The controversial artwork, which will be installed near the Thames River in London, has been deemed insensitive by many people. Critics argue that it depicts a figure with its eyes closed and legs crossed while standing on land next to water. The sculpture is part of an exhibition titled ‘The Uncomfortable’ organized by David Shrigley who says he was inspired after seeing Kanye West wearing a Make America Great Again hat.
A statue of Virginia Woolf near the Thames River in London has been called “insensitive” after a petition to remove it was started.
Richmond Council’s environment, sustainability, culture, and sports committee approved plans for a bronze monument of Virginia Woolf overlooking the River Thames. However, not everyone in the neighborhood agrees.
The placing of the artwork is “insensitive and dangerous,” according to Barry May, head of the Richmond Society, a local conservation organization. He told The Guardian that it would be unpleasant for anybody in a vulnerable position who knew she committed herself in a river.
At the brink of the water
The skeptics are seeing some opposition. “It’s tragic to have a monument by the river as a reminder of how quickly water may overtake you,” said Conservative councilor Kate Howard. James Chard, a Liberal Democrat councilor, objected to Woolfe being defined by her mental condition person the way in which she died.
“It would be allowing Virginia Woolf to be defined in that manner” if the monument were moved away from the river.
But wait, isn’t there another issue with this sculpture’s intentions – the sculpture itself? Consider the image of Woolf lying on a park seat, one arm lazily spread over the bench’s back. The relaxed appearance contrasts with Woolf’s real-life incident, in which she was so sad that she packed her pockets with stones and strolled into a river near her Sussex home to end a lengthy history of mental illness.
She was hospitalized multiple times as a result of her mood fluctuations, which ranged from severe melancholy to manic elation, with psychotic episodes that included flinging herself out a window.
It’s difficult to imagine her sitting on a park seat, whether she’s happy or sad.
There is no rest for the weary.
Despite a bustling career and the invention of the stream of consciousness narrative to convey a tale, was Woolf ever as comfortable as the monument portrays? Her writing, according to biographies, helped her overcome despair.
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She was probably never going to sit on a park seat and do nothing.
She was hearing voices and couldn’t focus, as she informed her husband in her suicide note. She couldn’t continue without writing.
Woolf authored noteworthy novels like “A Room of One’s Own” and “Mrs. Dalloway” while she focused. When thinking of the Woolf monument, though, her first book, “The Voyage Out,” comes to mind.
It’s a self-discovery journey similar to hers, and it too ends in death. Her own experiences influenced her writing, as evidenced by the character of Septimus Warren Smith in “Mrs. Dalloway,” who, like Woolf, committed suicide rather than be sent to a mental institution.
Despite this, the sculptor who created the Woolf figure, Laury Dizengremel, believes in it so passionately that she is prepared to fundraise for it. “I am quite certain that Virginia Woolf lovers all across the globe will rally behind our effort.” People might sit on the bench with the writer and engage with her, which would be part of the allure. I’m not sure she’d enjoy it since she’s a loner.
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