A special celebration took place at the WIT Campus recently on the occasion of the unveiling of a bass-relief decorating the entrance of the new Chubut Conference building.
Professor Carlos Brebbia, Director of WIT, expressed his gratitude to the Sculptress, Pilar Perez Subia from La Coruña, Spain, who visited Ashurst Lodge specially for the ceremony.
“Now that an important phase of the building development programme has been completed, it is important, Carlos said, that we consider ways in which our environment can be improved”. It was because of that that Carlos asked Pilar for ideas on how to create more beautiful surroundings. Pilar had the brilliant idea of sculpting a bass-relief to be set above the entrance of the Conference Hall to act as a focal point in the courtyard framed by the three new buildings.
Pilar has already helped us to live and work in a more beautiful environment. WIT has two works of art by her. One large sculpture called “The Eagle Woman” next to the tennis court and a bust called “The Golden Woman” in the wide corridor in the main building. She suggested that this time we ought to have a bass-relief of a dragon which is a symbol of wisdom and success in many civilisations.
More recently, we found that the dragon also relates the old Celtic inhabitants of Wessex to other Celts. Way before the Norman conquest the dragon was carried in the standard of the Wessex tribes, for which it was a symbol of kingship.
This piece of history relates the Celtic people of Galicia, with Wessex and Wales. Pilar lives in La Coruña, the most prominent of the Galician ports connected since time immemorial with the British Isles, particularly during the Celtic period.
The slate for the ‘bass-relief’ was also from Galicia. Its colouring matches those used throughout the Wessex Campus. But more importantly, it also makes a statement regarding the affinity of the two Celtic areas, those from Northwest Spain and Wales. Furthermore, the name of the Conference Hall whose doors it adorns, ie Chubut, refers to the part of Patagonia where the Welsh emigrated in the XIXth Century to set up what has been called “Little Wales across the Sea”.
Dragon stories were popular up to recent times in our region, Carlos said. There was one dragon in Burley and another in the Bevois Valley in Southampton. The new dragon is in good company, not only do we have two sculptures by Pilar on Campus but Pilar has several sculptures in public parks and promenades in Spanish cities. Even Bill Gates possesses a bit of Pilar’s art, as she designed a special medal that he received at an Information Technology Conference in Madrid.
Carlos ended by thanking Pilar again for her contribution to our Lodge and improving our life. We will remember her through these works that now embellish the Lodge and, as Carlos said, “that are like children whom you have left behind to improve our lives”.