Sunday, October 30, 2005

Another place


On our way home from Rydal (on the only fine day of our stay) we detoured to Crosby Sands to see Antony Gormley’s Another Place. John and Liz have both blogged in some detail about the work...100 naked male figures, scattered along 3 km of sea shore, gazing out to sea,- recalling all those who made the voyage from Liverpool to the States in search of fortune, or at least survival. Gormley says "It is no hero, no ideal, just the industrially reproduced body of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe, facing a horizon busy with ships moving materials and manufactured things around the planet."

The tide was right out when we visited, so we missed seeing the figures in varying stages of immersion, but it was fascinating the way that those furthest from shore had patterns of barnacles working their way up legs and bodies. I loved how people seemed to relate to them, too. A fine day in half term meant that the beach was crowded, and having spent some time leaning companionably against a figure (number 72, in point of fact), enjoying the sensation of sun and wind on my face, I realised that all over the beach there were people touching, adorning, hugging and generally adopting the figures, though I was a little unnerved as I peered through the swirling sand, when one figure in the distance appeared to be moving....

The skyline was pretty stunning too, with its mixture of wind turbines, derricks and the city behind, gleaming like a renaissance painting, just out of reach. I loved it, the whole thing. In her post on Blah Manchester, Liz had been thinking about those who expect to find God solely in the beauties of nature, and commented that she meets him more readily where the impact of human influence can be seen in partnership with God's work of creation.
Certainly, He was hugely evident in everything I saw on Crosby Sands.

6 comments:

jo(e) said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing the photo and the beautiful description. I want to put this on my list of places to visit someday.

jo(e) said...

I just followed the link and saw that the installation will be coming to New York at some point .... so maybe I can see it without travelling quite so far ....

cheesehead said...

Breathtaking.

Lorna said...

interesting too

Quotidian Grace said...

Fascinating idea for an exhibit. I'd love to see it, too.

Dave Rattigan said...

... generally adopting the figures ...

I like this description! :¬)

Another Place is a great installation. You describe its impact very well.