Artist Review: Antony Gormley

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Antony Gormley has been somewhat of an inspiration for me for around three years now, even though until last year I hadn’t actually discovered the man behind the work. His piece ‘Another Place’, was seen by me when passing a news story on the television, at first I thought it was nothing, but under closer inspection I realised that the humans were not real, but statues. This interested me, and I liked it, but I did not understand the true beauty of it until a year later, when the piece was featured in a drama on television once more, and I suddenly understood it. Haunted by the image of the black humans being slowly drowned by the sea, but standing firm whilst it happened, I immediately searched for it, and found the rest of his ‘body’ (haha) of work.

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‘Another Place’, Antony Gormley, 1997
(image taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Another_Place)

The thing that draws me to this piece, is the emotion felt within when observing it. We have all dreamt of another place, whether that is whilst looking out to the sea, or simply when ruminating on our own lives and placement, and longing for another. It is immensely sad, and yet so true to the human experience. We all long for a change, for something else, many times throughout our lives, often when we feel most lost. I find myself becoming lost a great number of times, and I often look within myself to combat this, often with unexpected results. This piece still haunts me to this day, and I still want to go and see it one day. I will endeavor to soon.

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‘Bed’, Antony Gormley, 1980
(image taken from:http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gormley-bed-t06984)

‘Bed’ is another of Gormley’s pieces that holds a special place within my own soul, and is really a triumph in symbolism within Art. Reflecting the Buddhist views of Gormley, and his strict catholic upbringing. The area of Gormley’s lying body is eaten out of bread, which is dipped in paraffin wax and placed back into position. What is beautiful about the piece, is the fact that it echoes the eating of the body of Christ, and the bodies natural ability to transform food into nutrition, and then into air through digestion, crafting a ‘spirit’, so to speak. It also echoes the buddhist views of balance, and need for nothing more than that which to keep you alive, as nothing else is needed. I feel a special connection to this piece, as I was brought up catholic, and sense the power or this work, both spiritually and emotionally. I feel the emptiness, and the spirit, when viewing this piece. It still really astounds me.

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‘Field’, Antony Gormley, 1989-2003
(image taken from:http://klausjoynson.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/anthony-gormley-field-1991-ls-m1.jpg)

The last of my favourite works by Gormley is ‘Field’, a project that lasted for over a decade, and keeps haunting me with it’s image. As myc urrent project has focused on little men, I keep finding yself be drawn more and more to this piece, and getting increasingly frustrated with myself because I cannot shake the similarities to it. It’s such a wonderful piece, and I believe my imitations just go to show my fascination with it. It’s a funny little piece, and tends to evoke a select group of emotions within me; Humour, Joy, Emptiness, and the ever-present Haunting feeling that I cannot seem to shake, no matteer how many times I see the piece.

Could this be my madonna? so to speak?

(Of course not, but it’s funny to pretend i’m anything like Da Vinci)

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