Click for larger version.

The Nature Girls – three smallish bronze statues by Welsh Artist Laura Ford – is one of my absolute favorite pieces of public ahhht in Ottawa.

It’s pretty simple – three little tree-girls with ruby slippers (that’s the best part!) stand together in a circle in a planter box outside the British High Commission. It’s a little bit absurd, but it’s also delightful and whimsical. What’s not to like?!

These sculptures aren’t exactly obscure, though.

Because of their size, the statues have actually been stolen on more than one occasion – not recently, but I remember reading that at least one of the girls went missing about 15 years ago. In fact, while writing this I checked out Wikipedia to discover that the Nature Girls used to be on display in the UK, and were also stolen at that time. Wikipedia says they’ve never been recovered, but here they stand. Maybe someone needs to update Wikipedia.

Unless of course the British merely gave us a copy of the surrey statues. It wouldn’t be the first time they screwed us over with a piece of art. Buggers!

Whatever. As luck would have it I walk by this statue almost every day and, copy or not, it never fails to put a smile on my lips.

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7 responses »

  1. I haven’t seen those! They’re super cute. I’ll have to check them out sometime.

  2. Steve says:

    Fun. I haven’t noticed them either, I’ll have to look next time I’m walking by there. I like that there are leaves on the ground in the photos.

    Umm, you know you can updated Wikipedia. That’s sort of the point!

    • RoC(k)r says:

      Yeah yeah, I know. And if I was certain of the facts, I might actually give it a try. But I’m lazy and the path of least resistance is to do nothing. At LEAST I’m complaining. Isn’t that enough?!

  3. jandjsmum says:

    I really really like these….Im not an art person, but I do really like these!

  4. jaycee031 says:

    I’ve been trying to track the London girls, and I thought I had traced them to Ottawa but there must have been at least 6 girls made at the same time and perhaps 8 have existed. The first girl was the ‘Stump Girl’ and she is on the Chiltern sculpture trail, UK and has been there since about 1996. She might have been made in 1994 and all three girls were exhibited in Exeter, UK in 1995. There were 3 placed at Surrey Docks in London 1997 but they were stolen in 2008 (just the shoes remaining). The Canadian Nature Girls were placed outside the British High Commission in 1998 and Stump Girl was stolen a couple of weeks later, a nation wide search (including a t-shirt campaign) resulted in her being found in Montreal in 1999. In the mean time a replacement was commissioned, so there is possibly one more Stump Girl. A Stump Girl was shown in the Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Germany in 2010.
    You are lucky to have your three intact. I think the London girls were too much in plain sight. The Canadian girls are clearly more careful about being seen.

    • RoC(k)r says:

      Thanks for the history! I think there was a second theft among the Canadian girls, but I can’t remember the details. Maybe I’m mis-remembering. 🙂

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