Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Another Place

Having my Dad staying with us for a few days gave us an excuse to become tourists in north west England where we live. On our way to Southport for a blast of sea air we stopped at Crosby Beach for a look at Anthony Gormley’s sculpture, “Another Place”. The sculpture consists of 100 cast iron figures which face out to sea, spread over a 2 mile (3.2 km) stretch of the beach. Each figure is 189 cm tall (nearly 6 feet 2½ inches) and weighs around 650 kg (over 1400 lbs).

Watching the tide move up the beach submerging the figures creates slightly eerie feeling, probably because it shouldn’t be happening – like cream cakes that shouldn’t be left out in the rain – cast iron statues shouldn’t be left on the beach for the sea to cover.

Beyond the slight eeriness induced by the incoming tide there is also a sense of hopelessness and, perhaps, weariness as though they are fulfilling a long standing obligation to look out for something coming over the horizon irrespective of the consequences. The consequences are repeated twice a day and will be, presumably, until nature completes its corrosive course. Watching the statues emerge as the tide recedes is likely to produce quite a difference effect and I wonder if it might be more positive and optimistic.

 

In some ways a lone figure produces a more powerful effect, adding solitariness to hopelessness and weariness. With the water just lapping around his feet the figure creates some discomfort in spectators by standing and facing the tide instead of turning and walking or running away.

2 comments:

  1. Wow very eerie indeed, a bit like the statues on Easter Island, watching and waiting!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great Ian- somehow I'd missed the fact that the figures are submerged by the tides. Quite an amazing and thought provoking effect...

    ReplyDelete