Another Place

ANOTHER PLACE, Antony Gormley’s sometime controversial installation is a collection of one hundred cast iron figures of his own body facing out to sea. Spread over a two mile stretch of Crosby Beach, it was positioned in 2005 having previously been displayed in Germany, Norway and Belgium. Due to be moved to New York in November, 2006, Sefton Council  had the foresight to raise funds to buy this great piece of art for present and future generations to enjoy.

Antony Gormley has said that the installation is a poetic response to the individual and universal sentiments associated with emigration – sadness at leaving, but the hope of a new future in Another Place and that ‘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.’

He also said that ‘I think there’s that thing in Another Place of looking out.  It’s what we all do: that’s why people go to the seaside, to see the edge of the world, because most of us spend most of our time in rooms.’

He observed that opposition to the installation’s remaining on the beach ‘illustrated that no landscape is innocent, no landscape is uncontrolled. Every landscape has a hidden social dimension to do with both its natural usage and the politics of territory. I like the idea that attempting to ask questions about the place of art in our lives reveals these complex human and social matrices.’

The first set of photos, taken in the summer of 2006, record Gormley’s vision. In addition, as with so much of his work, the figures become part of the landscape and individuals make their own responses.

The second set of photos, taken on Boxing Day 2009,  shows the work literally in a different light. The sun sets on a winter afternoon and becomes a bleak, cold night. Long exposures capture the magical quality of the landscape at low tide and night walkers become part of ANOTHER PLACE.

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10 Comments Add Yours

  1. Gail Young

    Love seeing the statues through a passage of time and seasons.

    • Sylvia Selzer

      And it goes on! I must take some more images to record other changes especially in the more severe weather situations of Winter.

  2. Howard Gardener

    The first time I saw this, I was struck by the flying saucer shape of the swimming baths halfway along the beach. It was dusk and I got a strong impression of a group of aliens, stranded for some unknown reason on planet Earth, who had walked out of their spaceship and were communicating silently with their home planet. I suppose you had to be there really . . .

    Delicious photographs Sylvia – well done.

    • Sylvia Selzer

      I’ve always thought the Leisure Centre had a certain other worldliness – takes your imagination and sense of humour to come up with that image though! Love it – and I’m sure Gormley would too!

  3. Ashen

    Thanks for sharing your impressions of this poignant installation.
    The boundary between land and sea is one of my favourite places to be.
    It’s ironic that by looking out at a far horizon we are also looking for something deep within.

    • Sylvia Selzer

      As always Ashen, you go right to the heart and mind of the matter – and the soul.

  4. Caroline Reeves

    What evocative photos Sylvia! I loved this place when we visited, such atmosphere and it must be different every time anyone visits with the changing seacape, weather and the added touches left by individuals. Thank you for reminding me, the images made me smile!

    • Sylvia Selzer

      You’ve reminded me, Caroline, that when we visited ANOTHER PLACE a couple of years ago that the surface of the figures had weathered considerably and I said I must provide an update. Will definitely do that – perhaps when you come up here, hopefully before Christmas and before Gormley’s iron men change yet again!

  5. John Chapman

    I feel that Howard has it just right. I must say, though, that when I look out over a landscape I am generally wondering who made it and why are we in it and why was it made to be so wondrous for us? Do other creatures find the world beautiful too?

    You have captured a definite sense of pleading for help from some other place or plane with these photographs.

    • Sylvia Selzer

      i went to ANOTHER PLACE this week, John, and it was different yet again. The day was bright and sunny but with a sharp wind that seemed to bleach the seascape. The figures, too, have changed and with rusting and barnacles look even more like Howard’s aliens… Thanks again.

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