25 December 2012

Another Place

Made of solid cast iron, the 100 life-size sculptures that go to make up Another Place are from a mould of the body of the artist, Antony Gormley, famous for the Angel of the North, in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. Mounted on foundations driven ten feet into the sand, they are spread along nearly two miles of Crosby beach, north of Liverpool.

The installation is over half a mile deep, yet all 100 sculptures are completely submerged at the very highest tides. The work, now permanently at Crosby, was previously displayed in Cuxhaven in Germany, Stavanger in Norway, and De Panne in Belgium, all coastal sites.

Gormley: "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, 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."

At the southern end of the beach stands the Seaforth Radar Tower, a 98 feet high grey hulk amidst modern wind turbines and mounds of rusting metal. Built in the 1960s to oversee entrance to the Mersey shipping channels, it was originally staffed 24 hours a day, but now feeds information to a remote monitoring station and is slated for demolition.

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