Despite almost 1 in every 3 people having some level of phobia of spiders, a huge bronze spider is the monument of choice to welcome visitors to Canada’s National Gallery.
The National Gallery is in the large Canadian city of Ottawa, in the country’s south-east. The purchase of the massive 8 legged creature cost the gallery $3.2 million and weighs in at a huge 6000 kilograms. The striking sculpture is made of bronze, stainless steel and marble and was installed at the gallery in 2005. It’s sheer size can be seen in this video.
The ornate structure is the work of artist Louise Bourgeois in 1999, and is affectionally known as Maman. Maman stands at over 9 metres tall and the craftsmanship of Bourgeois attracts is magnificent. Underneath the belly of Maman is a sack containing large white marble eggs, ready to hatch into many more ornate statues.
Whilst the marble balls depict the offspring of a spider, the name Maman itself also has a strong maternal link. Translating to mother in French, Maman depicts the traits of motherhood; protectiveness, fertility but also fragility.
Maman is part of a collection of other almost identical spider sculptures by Bourgeois, which are located at galleries throughout the world. The other sculptures are found in the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, South Korea and the United States.
Primarily, the National Gallery is the must stop way point for travellers but by default they will view Maman in all her glory as well, simply by visiting the gallery. Maman is hard to miss, yet is not really considered to be a top Canadian attraction. On the contrary, the gallery is rated in many a top ten must see listing, so Maman still gathers a lot of attention and Instagram fame.