I love the seaside, and I love Antony Gormley, so I couldn’t think of anything lovelier than a day out to Crosby beach near Liverpool to see Antony Gormley’s Another Place.
Original shown in Wattenmeer, Cuxhaven, Germany in 1995, before being shown in Stavanger in Norway and De Panne in Belgium, the works were installed at Crosby beach. They proved so popular the local community and Antony were keen to see if make the beach it’s permanent home.
Another Place consists of 100 cast-iron, life-size figures spread out along three kilometres of the foreshore, stretching almost one kilometre out to sea. Each figure weighs 650 kilos and they are made from casts of the artist’s own body. All the sculptures stand on the beach, all of them looking out to sea, staring at the horizon in silent expectation.
According to Antony, Another Place harnesses the ebb and flow of the tide to explore man’s relationship with nature. He explains: The seaside is a good place to do this. Here time is tested by tide, architecture by the elements and the prevalence of sky seems to question the earth’s substance. In this work human life is tested against planetary time. 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 really enjoyed visiting the works, going on to the beach about an hour after high tide and exploring the area and sculptures until all the figures were uncovered. After three hours a nice sit down on the promenade with some fish and chips was most definitely in order.
I liked that the works were really accessible and were being enjoyed and explored by many different groups of people. The different wear and tear of the figures and interaction with nature, like barnacles, and people, like adding a t-shirt. What I’d like to know from the artist is why he choose to just use his own body, and why different genders or ages weren’t represented.