Monday, 28 February 2011

Holding Mr Gormley's Cold Cast Iron Hand

Waiting for the tide

Today I met some of Antony Gormley's cast iron, life size figures, which are spread out the foreshore at Crosby.  Known as Another Place, the installation is made up of 200 figures, all made from casts of the artist's own body, and shown at different stages of rising from the sand.  

Number 21 and I get acquainted.  

Antony Gormley states that Another Place "harnesses the ebb and flow of the tide to explore man's relationship with nature", saying: 

"This sculpture exposes to light and time the nakedness of a particular and peculiar body. It is no hero, no ideal, just the industrially reproduced body of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe, facing a horizon busy with ships moving materials and manufactured things around the planet."

I don't remember when the awareness of Another Place first seeped into my consciousness, but I do know that it's been on my bucket list for some time.  We had hoped to drive to Crosby last month when we were in Chester, but were thwarted by snow, and lots of it.   Armed with a cheap rail ticket offer from London Midland, today was the day to go and meet the Gormleys.

Eager to see them, I fairly bounded up Hall Road to the coastguard station.  And there they were, as starkly outlined as I'd imagined against a low tide, the industrial landscape, and a line of wind turbines.

I had heard that they spent some time dressed up, and Number 22 had a particularly fetching outfit for the day, although somewhat unsuited for the weather.

His poor feet looked very chilly, and I loved the way that the sea life had taken over.


Number 22's bracelets: the original and the new.

This may sound rather odd, but tonight I feel strangely content.

Tomorrow - the superlambananas, some perspex, and more of Liverpool...


  1. This is on my to do list for 2011, I come from Crosby and really want to see these sculptures! I went to see them a while back but it was so windy I had to cancel!

  2. Thank you so much for this posting...I love this beach and have spent many, many hours there. It is a place for contemplation and dreaming. It is a lovely coast, busy with shipping and yet you can get lost in thought there. I have had a very long association with Crosby beach and just wish to go back there.!!!
    Thanks again.

    Oh, just thought...I thought there were 100 Gormleys, but you say 200...who is right?????????????

    Sue xxxxx

  3. How amazing - I have never heard of this either. I'd love to see it - something to add to the 'to do' list:)

  4. Sue is absolutely right - there are 100 figures - I was clearly so excited that I couldn't hit the right button. I can see just why you love it there, Sue; it's a perfect place to wander and dream. I came away at peace with the world, and the feeling has lasted.

    Annie and Carmen - I hope you'll make it there. It's a wonderful place.

    Incidentally, there's something at the coastguard station I think you might all appreciate. There were two of those fake birds of prey stuck on top of the roof, clearly designed to keep the birds away, and both were being used as seats by the real bird population. I imagined they were thumbing their beaks.

  5. These are definately on my list of things to see. :)

  6. Love your photo shoot with descriptions.
    Thanks for sharing

  7. O my gosh! This is the coolest! What a magical experience!