Monday, October 20, 2008

Gor, blimey


Gremlin's Crosby post reminded me that everyone loves the Gormley statues (especially Gormley, as they are all replicas of him). When London was peppered with them last summer, I took this shot on Waterloo Bridge. There wasn't a campaign to keep them in London, but I thought they were pretty neat. This was one of the few you could get at, though - most were on rooftops.

7 comments:

goneforeign said...

I worked at a university my whole life and they had a very good gallery.
One year they had a sculpture exhibit, it could have been Gormly, I don't recall the name, it was human figures rendered with absolutely perfect details. One piece was a beautiful nude young woman lying on a raised flat platform. She was exquisite. The 'plant operations' workers were not known for their time spent at the gallery but this one brought them out in droves, one of my friends was an unsophisticated machinist, he asked me to go with him. He asked me "what's it all about then, why's she lying like that?" I told him that that was the art itself, she had to remain absolutely motionless or it would be ruined. He passed the word along and soon there were a dozen or more working blokes all leaning in close to study every detail; they were saying things like 'yer see that, right there she breathed' or she just moved her foot. She wasn't the only piece there, there were about 6-8 others including an old bag woman in a dirty raincoat leaning against the wall supposedly reading a paperback but if you looked closely she was keeping an eye on all the blokes in the room. A year or so later I saw another exhibition by the same artist at the Satchi gallery in London and there was a phenominal installation there also, it was the oil filled room, did anyone see it? Mind boggling!

May1366 said...

Bit of Googling (and I have no knowledge to corroborate further) suggests that the life-size figures were by Duane Hanson (http://www.nrw-museum.de/output/content/pics/werkabbildungen/H/B_Hanson_SupermarketLady_70.jpg) and the oil-filled room by Richard Wilson. I think you've separated them in your memory, gf, but this review (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20040323/ai_n12775011) suggests they may have exhibited together.

Japanther said...

hmm....didn't realise these iron men were a worldwide phenomenon, there are a couple in Tokyo inside the Tokyo Opera City building, which, as it happens, I have to go to for work today, i'll try to get a photo....also, there is a really big stone man too in the same place, not sure if it's the same artist, looks like it could be.

goneforeign said...

May 1366: Thanks for the links but neither are active but I googled Richard Wilson and that's him, Wiki has the following about the oil filled room:
'Wilson's work is characterised by architectural concerns with volume, illusionary spaces and auditory perception. His most famous work "20:50", a room of specific proportions, half filled with highly reflective used sump oil creating an illusion of the room turned upside down was first exhibited at Matts Gallery, London in 1987, became one of the signature pieces of the Saatchi Gallery. It is considered by many people to be the masterpiece of the genre of site-specific installation art, due to how successfully it envelopes the viewer into its rendition of the space.
It was amazing, if it's ever displayed again anywhere you should make every effort to see it.

Blimpy said...

Donds for 20:50. I saw it @ saatchi, and it was truly amazing!!

TatankaYotanka said...

Many years before the Angel Of The North Anthony Gormley left a little known fallen angel in the south. I have a personal interest here, Tout Quarry Sculpture Park, on the Isle of Portland in Dorset was started by a friend of mine, Jonathan Phipps, who sadly died last year and I am involved as a trustee of the project that continues to promote art and geology on Portland. Jonathan grew up in Weymouth and later lived on Portland; he developed an obsession with Tout Quarry which had ceased working at the start of the C20th and had been slowly reclaimed by nature .... and used as the municipal dump. The quarrying here pre-dated the hugely mechanised operations we are used to now; with quarrymen having to move and stack unwanted material behind them as they went, leaving amazing gullies, the equivalent of gigantic dry stone walling. Jonathan began to remove scrap metal and clear paths through the quarry and whilst doing this developed a vision of the quarry as a place for art. This crystallised into a mad summer in 1983 where he invited 40 artists to come and work on the stone and quarry environment in situ. One of those artists was a fresh from art school Anthony Gormley and his piece, showing a falling body carved into the living rock face, presaged both his homogeneous and deeply personal future figures and the pictures of people jumping from the World Trade Centre towers.

Still Falling - Anthony Gormley

http://learningstone.org/sf.html

http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/trlout_gfx_en/TRA48231.html

Tout is still free and wild, combining nature and art. If you are down that way and don't know Portland, go and have a look ... it's a strange place; Thomas Hardy's 'Isle Of Slingers', still very other worldly. If your inner Rodin needs an outing, book one of the carving courses for next summer, al fresco in Tout Quarry, you'll get the most amazing sun tan from all that sea and white limestone.


If birds are your thing then my other top tip is Portland Bird Observatory. For a few quid a night you can stay in a lighthouse ... and if you become a member it is ridiculously cheap. Martin Cade, the warden, does a brilliant daily diary recording birds of passage, residents and whatever else is happening off Portland Bill ... when the Olympics come to Portland harbour ... you'll be well ahead of the game if you follow these links :)

http://www.portlandbirdobs.btinternet.co.uk/

debbym said...

Donds for Portland, one of my favourite places in the whole wide world, and where I'd be NOW if I only knew how to beam...sigh...