Thursday, July 7, 2011

Antony Gormley - Another Place

This week I finally got the opportunity to visit Antony Gormley's installation Another Place at Crosby on Merseyside. It was fascinating to see not only the scale of the work but also the effects that time and the sea are having on the individual pieces.

Most of the pieces that I saw were standing in their own pools of water where the eddying tides had scoured away the sand from around the bases on which they stand but a few, closer to shore, had become partially buried in the sand.

It was also interesting to see how the proportions of the bodies had changed as they have become colonised by seaweed, barnacles and muscles.

I think that what struck me most was the way in which despite being a real 'presence' the statues were dwarfed by the wind-farm, just off shore, and the vast ships moving in and out of Liverpool docks. This was perhaps enhanced by watching them being rapidly engulfed by the incoming tide.

Despite this the most enduring memory will be the haunting sense of absence/unknown - why are they looking out to sea; are they guides waiting hopefully for something/one to return or are they sentinels standing as a forlorn reminder of those who will never return - I fear the latter.

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