Sunday, July 24, 2005

Another Place

I seriously need a break from all the Greenbelt emails and phone calls and best mate S similarly could do with getting away from 'real life' for a bit, so we decide to escape for the day and head for the seaside.

Forsaking our usual haunts we decide to try Crosby so we can check out Anthony Gormley’s Another Place . This basically comprises of 100 lifesize metal figures (formed from a cast of the artist’s body) spread out along a 3 km stretch of the foreshore – all staring silently out to see. The figures are set at different distances from the tide line so that the water rises and falls about them at different points.

Of course it’s only once we’re well on our way that S reads out the info she’s gathered from the web.

Including the tide times.

Which explains why we arrive to find this:

We decide to head off for some lunch and happily when we return a little later the tide is well on its way out.

Walking down a vast uncrowded beach is pretty much my idea of heaven anyway, but the figures are a great addition.

This is the kind of art that everyone just seems to ‘get’. Dotted along the beach there are huddles standing around a statue. Some people stand silently alongside – sharing the silent gaze as the ships pass by.

Some people sit their kids on the shoulders and take photos, some drape seaweed to form makeshift clothing and some it seems find use for an old hat.

Gormly really does seem to have the knack of creating public artworks that people just love interacting with.

His work The Field is a similar example, as witnessed by people’s eagerness to create their own clay forms at the Magnitude and Menagerie venues at recent Greenbelts. Which in turn is the source of one of my fondest Greenbelt memories – I had to smile when the clean-up team discovered two lovingly formed corgis left at the base of the Queen Mum’s memorial bust.

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