“Five public sculptures – Spirits of the Huveaune – take the form of female characters along the valley of the river Huveaune, situated between the spring, deep in the Provence Alps and the estuary at the Mediterranean Sea port of Marseille. The sculptures, based on historical texts, legends and stories about the valley, recount the feminine presence associated with the river. The legendry, supernatural and the imaginary that perpetuate the history of the river Huveaune are the sources of inspiration.” Lucy + Jorge Orta
The Huveaune is a coastal river in eastern Provence that originates in the Massif de la Sainte Baume and flows into the Mediterreanean Sea at Marseille. Although it has always faciliated the implementation of myriad human activities from agriculture to industry, the Huveaune is now little known and often ill treated. Eager to capitalize on this natural and cultural heritage and to strengthen the bonds between the residents of the neighborhoods and municipalities that cross this river, the Association Rives et Cultures has commissioned a work for artists Lucy + Jorge Orta in the context of Fondation de France’s Nouveaux commanditaire and programming for Marseille-Provence 2013, European Capital of Culture.
The artists have devised a parcours of five sculptures entitled Le Chemin des fées, which indicate the Huveaune’s presence in four municipalities: la Fée de la source (Marie) – the Martellière, Saint-Zacharia; la Fée du pont (Ubelka) – Moulin Saint-Claude, Auriol; la Fée des berges (Manon) – Îlot des Berges Park, Aubagne; la Fée du vieux moulin (Gyptis) – Vieux Moulin Park, Marseille; and la Fée du lac (Ophélie) – Borély Park, Marseille.
These fairies, dreaming or alert, melancholic or resolved, invest these sites like genii loci and weave an unprecedented link between the past and the present. They invite visitors to discover the Huveaune through other stories and to invent new way to live with the it. Referring to the universal water cycle, Le Chemin des fées aims to raise public awareness of environmental issues related to the river’s fate, thereby raising the question of water management in the future, here as elsewhere.
Lucy + Jorge Orta
Spirits of the Huveaune | Le Chemin des fées
Venue : Marseille, la vallée de l’Huveaune
Public sculpture commission
From 13 October 2012