Jaume Plensa: Wilsis

Wilsis appears to be deep in thought or dreaming. Her eyes are closed and she is inward-looking and self-contained, remote from the present moment and the beauty of the surrounding scenery. Although monumental in size at over 7 metres high, this sculpture depicts a normal girl, rather than immortalising a traditionally extraordinary or powerful person. Plensa chooses to celebrate the potential in all of us, and the beauty in the everyday. Wilsis belongs to a series of cast iron portrait heads that depict real girls: from many different places around the world, they suggest possibilities for unity across divides. In their youth they represent hopefulness for the future.

A white woman looking up at Jaume Plensa, Wilsis at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

When seen from the front, Wilsis appears to be a realistic rendition of the head, yet from the side it is an extremely flattened relief. Viewing this sculpture at YSP represents a journey of discovery and the work is only revealed fully when you walk around the landscape to discover it more closely.