Lucy + Jorge Orta: Diana

In their artwork, Lucy + Jorge Orta confront some of the 21st century’s most important issues including biodiversity, environmental sustainability and climate change.

Water and rivers occupy an increasingly significant position in the Ortas’ work. In 2012 they created a series of sculptures portraying mythical water spirits, spread over 30km along the Huveaune River, running from the Provence mountains to the sea port of Marseille in France.

Woodland Spirit – Diana, formerly known as Ulbelka (a water goddess and the ancient name of the Huveaune, also a word meaning ‘destroyer’, referencing the river’s tempestuous character), was renamed by the artists in 2014 to reflect its current location at YSP. Diana Beaumont owned the Bretton Estate from the late 1700s until her death and was instrumental in the development of the grounds 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, along with the sculpture’s position surveying YSP’s 18th-century designed landscape, alludes to the complex relationship between humans and nature.