Art students all around Belgium were approached by the Service des Espaces Verts in Ath (Parks and Rec) to come up with sculptural ideas that would include any sort of vegetation or landscaping. The main theme of this event was the 300th anniversary of Ath’s beloved figure: Madame Goliath.
For anyone who doesn’t know: Goliath is a philistine who got defeated by a rock swing from David, in biblical lore.
Legend says that after his defeat, the giant decided to live a peaceful life and settle down in this city, which kindly adopted him and became a “City of Giants”, a name that is reflected in their traditions, folklore, and even their local beer.
Every year, since 1487, the city has celebrated a fair, where Goliath parades around the city for everyone to watch. As any other legend, this gladiator’s story has evolved with time, so in 1715, the citizens decided to introduce a female companion to Goliath, properly named: Madame Goliath.
It’s been 300 years since Goliath’s wife came to town, and it was about time she had her own celebration.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”6775″ img_size=”full” alignment=”right” onclick=”link_image”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”6777″ img_size=”313×235″ alignment=”right”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
A triennale for giants
Using these traditions as an inspiration for a monumental sculpture, I searched the city archives for ideas on what the city looked like when Madame Goliath was born. This research led me to find the ancient fortifications that kept the city safe, which were designed by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, the famous french marshal and military engineer.
I obtained a copy of the original Vauban fortification map taken by the Duke of Marlborough in 1706, and traced sketches that would become “1715” a steel sculpture created to honor Ath, a city where people use their history and traditions to become giants![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_empty_space][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L6crUTwlII&t”][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rts6MbmjUuA&t”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]The original form evolved into a three dimensional object where any passerby could become a towering being and observe the city in the horizon. The idea was quickly approved by the local citizens council, and so it began to materialize.
The process to create this sculpture can be seen here.
Naturally, the event gathered local, and national press. Here’s a couple of videos that explain the triennale as well as my monument.