Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Iron Men

I had a wonderful holiday with some friends recently, on the west coast just outside Liverpool, a surprisingly interesting and attractive area. They were puppy-sitting for some relatives, necessitating many windswept walks. I took loads of photos!

It so happens that the house we were staying in overlooks Crosby beach, which holds a huge art installation, Another Place, by Sir Anthony Gormley (who also designed The Angel of the North). It consists of 100 cast-iron figures, each weighing 650 kilos, cast from Gormley's own body. They are spread out over 2 miles along the coast and reach more than half a mile out to sea. At this location, across a shallow, sandy foreshore, the tide ebbs and flows with a huge reach, so that sometimes the figures are submerged and sometimes revealed. Some are half buried in the sand as it gets blown around, and each is different due to the gradual weathering of tides and wind. (One or two have even had clothes added, by jokers, but the ripped and trailing fabric adds its own pathos.)

Early morning puppy walks meant I could catch the beach with no-one else on it and the lonely figures staring out to sea have a melancholy, even sinister, air.  It's a little unnerving to see a still and silent figure apparently watching another figure walk under the waves. 

This was another item on my 'bucket list' to see and it is satisfying to be able to tick it off, though I'd love to go back again to see the figures in different lights and weather. It is a powerful and moving sight.


  1. Weird for sure. As a tribute to those lost at sea and those waiting for their return, they make more sense to me.


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