S e c r e t s
Sarasvati is the consort of Lord Brahma, the Goddess of Art and Learning, and loved by Hindi students for the support she gives to their endeavors. She is usually depicted as fair skinned and wearing chaste clothing. In keeping with her elegant, refined appearance, she sits astride a white swan. Sarasvati can sometimes be seen riding peacocks, but swans are associated with Brahma, hence the choice seen here. She has four arms, each engaged in an aspect of learning. The hand near her head holds a novel (after all, she did invent the Sanskrit language). Another is playing the ‘Veena’, the Indian violin, to represent the arts. Sarasvati’s third hand is clutching a bead necklace, whilst her last hand holds a lotus blossom up to her cheek. Her swan is also sat atop a giant lotus flower, the petals of which form the pedestal. Open the lid to discover a clutch of swan eggs, a lone cygnet, and a book – ‘The Ugly Duckling’. Sculptor Ann Richmond incorporated two additional secrets. Under Sarasvati’s leg you will see the inscription ‘T-Rex 4 Ever’, referencing the Seventies English pop group fronted by Marc Bolan, who had a hit with ‘Ride a White Swan’. On the swan’s tail are a crown and the letters ‘HRH’, referring to ownership of all swans in England by Her Majesty the Queen.