The nine alphabets that build the sculpture (Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Greek, Hindi, Tamil, Japanese, Hebrew and Latin) are the metaphor with which the artist wants to celebrate the diversity of origins and cultures worldwide. He uses the letters and characters as biological cells to create a body that represents humanity. The artist says: “[it is] a mirror in which we find ourselves in the search for knowledge, a noble and continuous effort that brothers us together worldwide over the years”.
The original idea results from a 2018 work titled Grace
. Thinking about the University, Plensa took that idea back to adapt it and make a unique and special one, since it had never been catalogued yet. The piece is located on the left side of the Main Vestibule, next to the corridor that takes us to the Faculty of Philology and Communication. A plinth has been installed to exhibit the sculpture and the lights of the Main Vestibule have been emphasized for a perfect view.
Last September, Jaume Plensa ceded the installation The Secret Heart
to the Hospital Clínic and the UB on the occasion of World Heart Day. This large piece (13 meters high, 9.5 meters wide, and 150 kg) was exhibited at the main door of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Also, in 2020 Plensa ceded the sculpture Blue
to the Hospital Clínic in tribute and to thank the healthcare professionals for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sculpture was a face carved into a large basalt rock that was more than two meters high and weighed two and a half tons.
Jaume Plensa (1955) is a Catalan sculptor known for his large sculptures made of letters and numbers. He works with different materials, such as melted iron, polyester, glass fibre, alabaster, and wood. In 1997, he was awarded the National Culture Prize by the Government of Catalonia, in the category of plastic arts, and in 2012 he received the Saint George’s Cross. In 2013, he received the Velázquez Award for Plastic Arts in honour of his career, and in 2022 he was awarded the Pau Casals Award for the international outreach of Catalan culture. He is now living and working in Barcelona.