Gawk at a Gormley

Emily May

Renowned for his distinctive representations of the human form, Antony Gormley is one of the top sculptors to come out of the UK. What with his work being located in a multitude of places around the country, we’ve rounded up some of the best places you can gawk at a Gormley, and enjoy the crisp autumn weather, with our outdoor sculpture stalking guide!

The Angel of the North, Gateshead
For many, The Angel of the North has become the symbol of the north-east, and depending where you’re from, the symbol of home. Installed in 1998, Gormley stated he wanted it to be a “focus of hope at a painful time of transition for the people of the north-east” referencing the coal miner’s strikes and subsequent colliery closures. It is made from 200 tonnes of red-brown steel which can withstand wind speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, but that’s not an invitation to put it to the test by racing past it on the A1 in top gear! Whilst you can obviously catch a glimpse from your car, we recommend parking up and walking around the site – after all, how many chances are there to get up close and personal with an angel?

Image Credit: Ian Britton via Flickr
The Angel of the North is located at Durham Road, Low Eighton, Gateshead NE9 7TY
Another Place, Merseyside
These 100 cast-iron, life-sized figures have previously been exhibited in Germany, Norway and Denmark, before finding their permanent home across a 2.5 m stretch of sand on Crosby Beach in Merseyside. Changing appearance in correspondence with the ebb and flow of the tide – at high water, sculptures that are usually completely visible when the tide is out are standing up to their knees in water – these artworks aim to explore the daily life of the beach, test time and tide, stillness and movement. Whilst Gormley states “this was no exercise in romantic escapism”, it’s difficult not to attach some emotional ardour to those figures looking longingly out to the horizon…

Image Credit: Kris Williams via Flickr
Another Place can be located at Crosby Beach, Crosby, Merseyside
One and Other, York Sculpture Park
Located at one of the UK’s leading open-air galleries York Sculpture Park, One and Other is said to explore Gormley’s personal struggles with isolation and claustrophobia. However, over time the human form has weathered, losing its distinctive features and transforming into a universal, relatable figure. Whilst at YSP, check out some of their temporary exhibitions and other features of their permanent collection, including sculptures by acclaimed artists such as Ai Wei Wei’s Iron Tree and multiple works by Barbara Hepworth.

Image Credit: York Sculpture Park via their website
One and Other is located in the Lower Park at York Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, WF4 4LF
Sound II, Winchester
In the crypt of a Winchester Cathedral – one of the largest cathedrals in England - stands a solitary life-sized, lead figure, based on a plaster cast of the artist’s own body. Staring pensively into its hands, Sound II, like Another Place, is another of Gormley’s artworks influenced by the elements. The crypt fills with rain water on damp days, creating a dramatic atmosphere and adding to the reflective theme of the work, as the sculpture is mirrored in the submerged floor. 

Image Credit: Stephen Duncan via Flickr
Sound II is located in the crypt of Winceshester Cathedral, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LS
You, London
When you visit London’s renowned Roundhouse theatre, you may be expecting to cast your eyes on the stage, not up on its roof. But if you do, you will notice You, another of Gormley’s signature human figures which was installed in conjunction with the theatre’s reopening in 2006. The sculpture looks constrained, its limbs tight to and almost morphing into its body, which some have suggested may represent being squeezed into an urban surrounding, and possibly to be a comment on London life. You foreshadowed Gormley’s 2007 project Event Horizon, where he hauntingly decorated the Southbank rooftops with 31 human figures.

Image Credit: trailerfulofpix via Flickr

You is located at the Roundhouse Theatre, Chalkfarm Road, Camden Town, London, NW1 8EH

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