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Water’s Soul by Jaume Plensa

Last week was an exciting one, spent in New York to launch our Kit Kemp x Annie Selke collection and to visit the building site of Warren Street Hotel. It’s making great progress and the rooms are going to be spacious and flooded with light. We can even see the Hudson from the top floors!

It wasn’t until the weekend that I had a chance to go for a walk around the city. I caught sight of a monumental serene face overlooking the opposite side of the river in Jersey City. I immediately recognised the sculpture as one of Jaume Plensa’s because we have one in the lobby at Crosby Street Hotel.

This breath-taking sculpture is named ‘Water’s Soul’ and was unveiled in October 2021. Its clean white surface is made from a mix that includes resin and fibreglass and weighs 30 tons. It’s in stark contrast against the darker buildings of the New Jersey skyline. Being half the size of the Statue of Liberty, it must have needed a huge studio!

For me, this beautiful piece provoked self-reflection. The subject holds a finger to her lips and in the city that never sleeps, this feels impactful. The sculpture plays homage to the water and I find it incredibly powerful. Plensa says that it is ‘inviting people to be silent… to try to listen to their own thoughts, their own dreams, their own ideas in this incredibly noisy time in which we are living today’.

It makes a great example of how art and architecture has the power to transform an area and enrich people’s lives. Jaume says ‘Visually connecting the city of Jersey City and New York City across the Hudson River, Water’s Soul reminds us that water is the great public space that has the power to unite people around the world’. A powerful message that resonates particularly at this time.

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