Antony Gormley Across Britain - From The Angel Of The North To The Iron Man

By Graham Spicer and Rose Shillito | 19 June 2007

Antony Gormley has certainly caught the imagination with his sculptures like Angel of the North and Event Horizon but there's many more of his works to be found across the country.

photo of hundreds of small clay models of stylised figures

Field for the British Isles. © Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London

This guide tells you where to find Antony Gormley’s work throughout the UK, in public spaces (mostly for free), in museums, galleries and libraries and also provides some web links and teachers’ resources.

Rarely out of the arts pages these days, Antony Gormley has become one of the world’s most celebrated sculptors and a household name. His sculptures, often based on casts of his own body, adorn public spaces and galleries across the country, from well-known works like Angel of the North to more obscure works only viewable by appointment.web links and teachers’ resources.

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photo of a rust coloured sculpture of a male figure with huge outstretched aircraft-like wings attached

Angel of the North. Photo © David Wilson Clarke

Angel of the North, Gateshead

Perhaps the sculptor’s most famous piece, this now iconic sculpture was erected in 1998 in Gateshead and, love it or loathe it, has become something of a symbol of the north east. The angel figure stands a massive 20 metres tall, with wings spanning 54 metres.

Standing on a hill overlooking the East Coast Main Line rail route and the A1 and A167 roads heading into Tyneside, it’s been variously referred to as ‘The Gateshead Flasher’ or ‘Gabriel’ and was the sculpture that etched Antony Gormley’s name into the public consciousness.

photo of sculptures of human figures stood on a wide beach at low tide

Another Place. Photo © Chris Howells

Another Place, Crosby Beach, Liverpool

Almost as well known as Angel of the North, Another Place consists of 100 cast iron figures facing out to sea on Crosby Beach near Liverpool. The figures are spread over a 3km stretch of the beach, each standing over 2 metres tall. In common with many of Gormley’s works, they are replicas of Gormley’s own body.

As the tide comes in the figures are partially submerged and a favourite local pastime has been adorning the sculptures with hats and items of clothing. Although initially due to be removed in 2006, public pressure has led to the council agreeing to their permanent display.

photo of a sculpture of a male figure stood on top of a tall building overlooking London with the London Eye big wheel in the background

Event Horizon. Photo © Gautier Deblonde

Event Horizon, 31 statues displayed on buildings around London

Event Horizon has caused a splash since being unveiled in May 2007. This large scale project consists of 31 life-size bronze male figures placed on prominent buildings across London, aimed at promoting Gormley’s exhibition Blind Light at the Hayward Gallery, and making an immediate impact with the public.

Sites range from the Shell Centre and National Theatre on the South Bank to Waterloo Bridge and King’s College and will be statued throughout summer 2007. This Google Maps page shows the location of all 31 sculptures.

Time will tell what happens to them after that, but they have already proved hugely popular with Londoners and a petition to No 10 Downing Street to keep them in the city has already been started.

Event Horizon is the best known of Gormley’s works in the capital but he has been making sculptures since 1973 and the city contains several other of his works, many of which are in the open air.

photo of a square rooftop with a rust coloured sculpture of a male figure stood on its edge

You. Photo © MJ Maccardini

You, The Roundhouse, London

The Event Horizon figures aren’t the only of Gormley’s sculptures placed on rooftops; You, a rusty-looking figure, stands on top of the extension to The Roundhouse performing arts centre in Chalk Farm Road, North London.

photo of a large sculpture of a just-discernable human form inside a 'cloud' of interlocking metal poles rising from a platform on a river

Quantum Cloud. Photo reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0 license

Quantum Cloud, next to the Millennium Dome, London

Quantum Cloud was erected in 1999 in time for the opening of the Millennium Dome (now the O2 Arena) and is Gormley’s tallest work, standing at some 30 metres high, rising from a platform bedded in the Thames.

Gormley’s body forms the centre of the sculpture, with 1.5 metre lengths of steel surrounding it in a cloud of tetrahedral units designed with the help of a computer-generated algorithm.

photo of a rust coloured sculpture of a male figure looking into its reflection in a full length window

Reflection. © Lady K

Reflection, 350 Euston Road, London

Reflection comprises a familiar rust-coloured Gormley figure looking at both its reflection in a window and a twin sculpture on the other side of the pane at the entrance of the offices at 350 Euston Road, London, the augmented reflection shimmering almost like a holographic image.

photo of a round piazza with several sculptures made from rocks on raised platforms around it

Planets © British Library

Planets, The British Library at St Pancras, London

The British Library at St Pancras, London, not only contains one of the world’s best collections of books and manuscripts, but is also home to several works of art and sculpture.

These include Gormley’s Planets, made from eight one-tonne granite boulders from southern Sweden’s glacial plain. Set on plinths around the Poet’s Circle in the Library’s publicly accessible outdoor piazza, they are carved with human bodies clinging onto the rocks, surrounding or orbiting the viewer as they enter the circle.

photo taken from above of a street t-junction with rusty coloured bollards in various shapes on the pavements

Bollards. Photo courtesy Southwark Council

Bollards, Bellenden Road, Peckham, London

Gormley also designed a series of four bollards installed on Bellenden Rd, Peckham, SE15, which can be seen as part of the Bellenden Renewal Area.

Although some of their forms proved controversial (they represent a snowman, oval, peg and penis), funding was provided by local traders and their standard bollard size meant they were exempt from planning permission.

Bollards, The Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood Park, West Suusex

The Cass Sculpture Foundation purchased two sets of the Peckham bollards, and have positioned them down the length of the central roadway at its site in Goodwood Park. (They also feature on the pathway leading up to the Angel of the North in Gateshead.)

photo of a sculpture of two male figures stood back to back with their arms outstretched

Sculpture for Derry Walls. © Brendan McMenamin, thanks to Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Sculpture for Derry Walls, Derry, Northern Ireland

This sculpture is in three sections in different parts of the Derry Walls, and was commissioned and installed in 1987. One is on the east of the walls overlooking the Foyle River, another is at the Bogside next to the remains of the Walker Monument and the last on the Bastion looking across to the Fountain Estate.

They all consist of two identical cast-iron figures joined back-to-back holding a cruciform pose, with one facing the wall and the other looking outwards and stand as a clear metaphor for both the city’s divisions and its common bonds.

photo of a sculpture of a male form in a city square

Iron: Man. Photo reproduced under GNU Free Documentation License

Iron: Man, Victoria Square, Birmingham

Iron: Man, commonly known as The Iron Man and erected in 1993, has, like many of Antony Gormley’s works, proved controversial. It was a gift to the city from a bank whose offices were in the square, and when they moved their headquarters there were calls for them to take the sculpture with them, but it has survived and is now a well-known local landmark.

photo of a rusty coloured sculpture of a stylised human form

One and Other. Photo Jonty Wilde

One and Other, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is another great outdoor spot to catch a Gormley work in a 500-acre pastoral setting and among a whole host of other inspiring sculptures.

One and Other is a familiar rusty male figure, gazing over the Cascade Bridge, which dramatically separates the Upper and Lower Lakes.

photo of a cliff face with the outline of an upside down human shape carved into the side of it

Still Falling. Photo © Bill Scarcely

Still Falling, Tout Quarry Sculpture Park, Yates Corner, Portland, Dorset

A little-known spot where you can view an early Gormley work is at the Tout Quarry Sculpture Park on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, where a wide variety of artists have carved directly into the rockface or created sculptures from the shale.

The famous Portland limestone found there has been used in buildings as celebrated as Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral and the United Nations Building in New York.

Gormley provided one of the first works at the sculpture park when it was opened in 1983. Still Falling is a carved figure dramatically captured mid-descent on the side of a cliff face.

photo of a sculpture of a stick man on a patch of grass with a neoclassical building in the background

Insider VIII. Photo © Dave Morgan

Insider VIII, Jerwood Sculpture Collection, Warwickshire

Gormley also features in the Jerwood Sculpture Park in the grounds of Ragley Hall, Warwickshire, some 9 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon. Insider VIII forms part of the 2 mile long sculpture trail, joining works by many of the most important 20th and 21st century sculptors alongside pieces by emerging artists who have won the Jerwood Sculpture Prize.

Body & Light drawings, British Museum Prints and Drawings Room

The British Museum holds two pen, ink and ink wash drawings from Gormley's early 1990s Body & Light series. Prints and drawings are often fragile and light sensitive so cannot always be permanently displayed, so check with the museum before visiting. If shown, they will be in the Prints and Drawings Room (Room 90 on the upper floor) next to works like Hogarth's Gin Lane and old masters such as Raphael, Michelangelo and Goya.

photo of a statue of a male figure looking at its hands stood in a church crypt

Sound II. © John Cairns

Sound II, Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire

The crypt of Winchester’s ninth century cathedral, which floods frequently, features Sound II, installed in 1986, and is surely one of the most evocative places to view Gormley’s work, especially when its feet are covered in water.

The cathedral is open daily, and tours of the crypt currently three times a day from Monday to Saturday. Flooding sometimes makes the tours impossible, so be sure to phone ahead to check.

Further details about visiting are available on the cathedral’s website.

photo of a sculpture of a man about to dive off a board attached to a gallery wall

Untitled (The Diver). Photo © Southampton City Art Gallery

Untitled (The Diver), Southampton City Art Gallery

Untitled (The Diver), made in 1983, is on permanent display in Southampton City Art Gallery’s Main Hall, part of its 20th Century British Art exhibition.

Another figure cast from the artist’s body, this time in lead and fibreglass resin, The Diver, with its outstretched arms, perches precariously on a board attached to the gallery wall.

photo of a sculpture of a male form attached upside down to the ceiling of a modern foyer

Feel. © Anthony Gormley 2005, Courtesy Wellcome Library

Feel, The Wellcome Collection, London

The Wellcome Collection, opening on June 21 2007 at 183 Euston Road, London, is a unique mix of free-to-visit galleries and resources pondering the myriad relationships between medicine, life and art.

Feel is a life-size human figure, this time suspended upside-down from the ceiling in the building’s foyer.

Learning to See. © Andy Stubbs

Learning to See, Quincentenary Library, Jesus College, Cambridge

Part of the Jesus College Sculpture Collection, Learning to See has been in the library since it opened in 1996. It can be viewed on weekdays during office hours by appointment only.

photo of a sculpture of two human forms. Neither have heads. One is stood with its arms by its side while the other is attached by its neck to the neck of the second which is balanced upside down on it with its arms outstretched

Present Time. Photo © National Galleries of Scotland

Present Time, Granton Centre for Art, Edinburgh

This lead, fibreglass and plaster model is in the Granton Centre for Art in Edinburgh, the purpose-built art store for National Galleries of Scotland. Special visits can be arranged and general tours of the stores take place every Tuesday afternoon, which also must be booked in advance.

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

The V&A holds an oil and charcoal drawing by Gormley, and, more interestingly, two etchings made by impressing mouth and finger tips into the etching ground. Both works are held in the print room where people must request to see them.

photo of a sculpture of a male form made of bricks in a gallery

Maquette for Brick Man. Photo courtesy Henry Moore Institute

Maquette For the Leeds Brick Man and Earth Above Ground, Leeds City Art Gallery

Both of these works are owned by Leeds City Art Gallery, which is reopening on June 22 2007 after a refurbishment.

The Brick Man was to be a huge 55 metre high sculpture to be erected on waste ground near Leeds Railway Station. Sadly, the project was denied planning permission but a model of it, Maquette For the Leeds Brick Man (1986) is in the gallery’s collection.

photo of a dark metal sculpture of a baby curled up on the floor

Baby (Still). Photo © Science Museum, London

Baby (Still), Science Museum, London

Part of the Science Museum’s permanent collection, this sculpture of curled-up baby is presently undergoing conservation work but will be back on display soon.

photo of hundreds of small clay models of stylised figures

Field for the British Isles. © Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London

Arts Council Collection

Field For the British Isles is one work that doesn’t feature a mould of Gormley’s body: it instead is a collection of hundreds of small pottery figures, part of the Arts Council Colleciton, as is the Bearing Light series of woodblocks. There are no plans to display either at present, but they are likely to be shown again in the UK in the future.

Of the other Gormley works owned by the Arts Council, the lead sculpture Five Fishes is on show in the exhibition How to Improve the World at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery until September 2 2007.

Tate

Tate’s huge collection of artworks includes eight pieces by Gormley, including Bed (1980-1), Natural Selection (1981) and Testing A World View (1993), all of which are currently in storage. However, permanent collections are changing all the time so its well worth checking on the Tate website before a visit to one of its venues to see if any of Gormley’s works are on display.

A series of public sculptures (of the familiar male figures) have been commissioned by National Galleries Scotland to be positioned standing in the waters of the River Leith.

They are expected to be unveiled towards the end of 2007 - more details when we get them.

photograph of a large figure in flames

Waste Man. Photo © Artangel

Waste Man, Margate

It’s not with us any more, but still worth mentioning is Waste Man, made in 2006 in Margate out of 30 tonnes of waste material intended to be burnt to the ground, which it was at the end of the summer.

The sculpture still exists as part of a documentary film of the event, however, also entitled Waste Man, and is also included on celluloid in the film Margate Exodus.

Antony Gormley's work is a gift to teachers, suiting many aspects of the Art and Design curriculum. Even very young children respond to his work. The diversity, humour and humanity of his sculptures, not to mention the sheer scale of many, make them an ideal subject for study and discussion.

Our Field for the British Isles-inspired salt-dough project gives KS1 teacher ideas on turning pupils into mini-Gormleys.

For more information, Tate has also produced detailed teachers’ notes, with a whole raft of background information. It's part of their Schools Online resources, which has plenty of information about other artists as well.

ArtisanCam tackle Gormley with a set of videos looking at his work from several viewpoints - installation staff, technicians, children visiting and others - giving an engaging way into a lesson.

Antony Gormley’s official site

Popular blog for all things London, The Londonist, features a nice section on where to find Gormley’s works in the capital incoprporating Google maps to pinpoint his creations.

For more great photos of Gormley's works both in the UK and abroad, visit the Antony Gormley photo pool on Flickr.

We've also set up a Google Maps page of Gormley's UK works (apart from London's Event Horizon) - please have a look at it and let us know if we've put any of the markers in the wrong place!

Have we missed anything out? Let us know if there is a Gormley in your neighbourhood that we haven't covered - email editor@24hourmuseum.org.uk

Thanks to Caddy and all other Antony Gormley group members on Flickr who helped with images and comments to produce this article.

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