Have you been to Another Place?

DSC06762 compBefore summer is officially over, I at last manage to make it across the country to Liverpool’s Crosby Beach to see Another Place, Antony Gormley’s faraway figures contemplating…what? Time? Space? Distance? “This was no exercise in romantic escapism,” Gormley states on his website. Rather, “the idea was to test time and tide, stillness and movement”. He certainly does that, despite the crowds on a Saturday afternoon…

DSC06754 compIn the midst of ordinariness, there’s a deep feeling of calm and otherness here, which induces contemplation. Something almost magical.

Gormley states that he wanted to “somehow engage with the daily life of the beach”. He also attains that. His figures, however, are not only for gazing at…

DSC06760 comp…they also seem to be participating in a range of activities, from volleyball to being jumper-minder.

DSC06755 compIf they were real, these strange “people” would be arrested for nudity (such is the fickleness of the human race).

What, for me, makes this a success in public art is its ability to provoke, to raise questions. It gives us context. Where are we in time and space? Will we live beyond these figures? How might our environment change to alter them or alter us? Does it matter? Will it matter?

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