Unsettling statue of ‘drowning girl’ disturbs onlookers in the north of Spain

ALMOST imperceptible against the glassy waters of Bilbao’s River Nervion, an eerie human face stares out from the tide. 

But the unsettling lifelike body – which reveals itself daily as the tide recedes  – is a new, thought-provoking art installation under the Zubi Zuri bridge in the north of Spain. 

Contemporary artist Ruben Orozco designed the submerged statue to make people think about human impact on the environment  over the years. 

The Mexican hyperrealist made the creepy 120kg figure with fibreglass figure and the ‘drowing girl’, as she has been dubbed by locals, reveals herself each day as the tide rises and falls. 

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The enigmatic figure entitled ‘Bihar’ (‘Tomorrow’ in Basque) is part of a  campaign by the BBK Foundation,  the charitable arm of Spanish lender Kutxabank. 

Orozco’s objective is for people to be aware that ‘their actions can sink us or keep us afloat’, the artist told Spanish news website Nius.

‘Bihar’ is not the first Orozco work to unsettle the residents of Bilbao.

Two years ago Orozco created a life-size statue of an old woman sitting on a park bench named ‘Invisible Soledad,’ in a bid to prompt debate about isolation and loneliness among the elderly.

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