Eurydice Prevails

Lakeside Arts,
University of Nottingham, Nottingham, 2019

Composed by Graham Fitkin. Performed by FitkinWall. From the 'Lost' album.

Dedicated to the memory of Lady Carol Djanogly.
Long-standing friend and philanthropist to the University of Nottingham and Lakeside Arts.

Elpida used two dead Elm trees in inverted form, their roots reaching to the sky. The two Elms were originally sustainably sourced from University Park campus and a Gloucestershire estate, having been felled due to poor health. Elpida worked with University students, staff and members of the public to make the work using the ancient Japanese process of Yakisugi, a method of wood preservation achieved through the charring of the surface. The trees were then overlaid with decorative metallic motifs that trace the tunnel-like galleries created by Elm bark beetles, the carriers of Dutch Elm disease that is estimated to have killed and affected 25 million Elm trees since the 1960s. In Eurydice Prevails, Elpida has imagined a rewriting of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. In her version of events the heroine, unlike in the ancient Greek legend, successfully escapes Hades despite Orpheus’ backward glance.

In the Greek myth, Orpheus charms his way out of the Underworld playing his lyre - his playing 'melted the heart of Hades'. Another sensory layer accompanies the artwork composed by Graham Fitkin and performed by the brilliant harpist Ruth Wall. You can listen to his composition Trace through a QR code on the signage whilst enjoying the sculptures.

Special thanks to Errol Morris, Tim Challans, Josh Mead, Steven Clarke.

You can read the story of Eurydice and Orpheus by Sam Redway here.

Downloads: Press Release (PDF)

Supporting organisations:
  • Lakeside Arts
  • Djanogly Gallery
  • Sir Harry Djanogly
  • Highfields Park Nottingham
  • Mark Harris
  • Matt Fairley
  • The Artists Agency
  • Sound: Graham Fitkin
  • Photo: Alan Fletcher
  • The University of Nottingham
  • Lakeside Arts
  • DPSquared