Biennale of Sydney 2010 – Antony Gormley @ AGNSW

Biennale of Sydney 2010 – Antony Gormley @ AGNSW

Antony Gormley (UK) is one of the world’s most acclaimed and best known sculptors.

In this captivating presentation at the Art Gallery of NSW, Gormley talked about the themes and processes behind his remarkable body of work.

Gormley has revitalised the human form in sculpture through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation. In his lecture ( on May 9th , 2010 ) he reflected on his 25 years of work using his own body as subject, tool and material.

31 life-size statues of Antony Gormley’s public art exhibition “Event Horizon” in New York City. From March 26th to  August 15, 2010-  all of the body forms, made of iron and fiberglass, will populate the surroundings and rooftops of historic Madison Square Park and the Flatiron District.

Antony Gormley, born in London 1950, came to prominence in the early 1980s with his body case sculptures. For 15 years he has been working in various regions around the world on what he calls the Field project. Using local clay he allows local people to form surrogate populations, small figures that become a kind of self-portraiture.

asian field biennale 2003

Asian Field, his installation at Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay, for the 2006 Biennale of Sydney, was made by 500 assistants out of 125 tonnes of gritty brick clay in Xianxian village, Guangzhou in 2003

I think it is a communication, but it is a meeting of two lives. It’s a meeting of the expressiveness of me, the artist, and the expressiveness of you, the viewer. And for me the charge comes from that confrontation. It can be a confrontation between the movement of the viewer and the stillness of the object, which in some way is an irreconcilable difference, but also an invitation for the viewer to sense his own body through his moment of stillness.

Iron Man Birmingham , 2005

Another Place, UK

Antony Gormley made 100 cast-iron sculptures from a mould of himself, then planted them firmly in the shoreline at Crosby Beach, Merseyside, gazing out across the sea. How much you can see depends on whether the tide is in or out.

Another Place Crosby Beach



Angel of the North

The Angel’s silhouette at the head of the Team Valley now rivals that of the famous Tyne Bridge.

A panoramic hilltop site was chosen where the sculpture would be clearly seen by more than 90,000 drivers a day on the A1 – more than one person every second – and by passengers on the East Coast main line from London to Edinburgh.

The site, a former colliery pithead baths synonymous with Gateshead mining history, was re-claimed as a green landscape during the early 1990s.

“People are always asking, why an angel? The only response I can give is that no-one has ever seen one and we need to keep imagining them. The angel has three functions – firstly a historic one to remind us that below this site coal miners worked in the dark for two hundred years, secondly to grasp hold of the future, expressing our transition from the industrial to the information age, and lastly to be a focus for our hopes and fears – a sculpture is an evolving thing.”

Gormley said of the Angel: “The hilltop site is important and has the feeling of being a megalithic mound. When you think of the mining that was done underneath the site, there is a poetic resonance. Men worked beneath the surface in the dark. Now in the light, there is a celebration of this industry. The face will not have individual features. The effect of the piece is in the alertness, the awareness of space and the gesture of the wings – they are not flat, they’re about 3.5 degrees forward and give a sense of embrace. The most important thing is that this is a collaborative venture. We are evolving a collective work from the firms of the North East and the best engineers in the world.



Share your thoughts