Monday, 14 September 2009

It is rather scary to realise that someone is actually reading this stuff.
A few days ago I rang someone whose home mooring we were approaching to see if they were around and was admonished for deviating from my published itinerary.
Today I have received tie following erudite and learned answer to my question posed on August 27 in 'Birmingham Luminaries'
Who was the Floozie in the jacuzzi?
The main focal point of Mistry's scheme for Victoria Square is the monumental female figure of The River, situated beneath the fa├žade of the Council House within a pool, and acting as a fountain which sends water cascading down to lower pools at the level of New Street. Rapidly nick-named 'The Floozie in the Jacuzzi' by the local press,the nude's proportions are descended from those of Matisse's figures, whilst as a reclining nude she points to the precedents of Giogione, Botticelli and Picasso's Vollard Suite. The waters that spout from the ball that she holds flow down to the youthful figures below, so she acts as a giver of life in the way that the Indian River Ganges is revered as a goddess because of its fertility. This is in contrast to the European tradition of masculine representations of river gods, though sources signifying the life-giving effect of water are also often surmounted by female nudes, possibly associated with Diana/Natura. She stares out into the surrounding space, neither challenging or inviting. In this way she follows in a long line of encapsulated female nudes in painting and sculpture, though the civic body has been criticised for this display of patriarchal domination through the enclosure of a passive female form in such a traditional manner. The sandstone pool that she reclines in has six large salmon carved in bas-relief on its floor. This acts as a cryptic explanation of the whole water scheme: the pool is filled by the rays of water (sunlight) from The River's orb; the lotus, being associated with the tranquillity of Buddha, sets a calmness over the entire scene; the figures of Youth are reflected in the water as emblems of its life-giving qualities; then once the cloud has passed, the cycle can begin again.
Thank you Jane for your research. I wish I was as accomplished a researcher.
A humble blogger.

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