To be able to write is to be able to dream, and a dream is the doorway to ones own mind.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Antony Gormley-Again.

Antony Gormley

"We are all conscious in this globalized world that in some way human beings are affecting natural systems that have never been affected by one species.. We have the ability to foul the nest for ourselves and every other species, or do something about it."                        
Angel of the North
Antony Gormley (birth date 30 August 1950) is an English sculptor who shot to fame with his Angel of the North piece which is situated in Gateshead. From 1971- 1974 Gormley travelled to India and Sri Lanka to learn about Buddhist beliefs where he studied Buddhist Vipassana meditation, which is an ancient technique of meditation that focuses on the relationship between the mind and body- it enables one to be able to heal and self transform. His interest in religion and philosophy have greatly impacted his work. After that he went on to study at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Goldsmiths university in London and then completed a postgraduate course in sculpture at the Slade School of Art which finished in 1979. Gormleys first solo exhibition came  in 1981 at the Whitechapel Art Gallery from support by Nicholas Serota who’s an art critic and was the director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery at the time. Gormley presented a series of body moulds which were created from metal casts.  In 1994 Gormley won the Turner Prize with Field for the British Isles which is a piece that’s made up of around 35,000 individual figures installed in a room. It took roughly 60 brickmakers to help Gormley complete the piece. Gormleys other famous pieces include Asian Field which was an installation of 180,00 little clay figures, The waste Man and Event Horrizon.                                                                                                           

Asian Field

Antony Gormley’s work primarily focuses on the human form using his own body as a mould for his creations. His pieces forget the details within the human form and just uses its mass as a mould. Gormley purposely excludes the details as he’s more concerned with the person as a whole an exterior and interior mass and a source of memory and development very much like a machine itself, he sees the body as an area a place to live in rather than a human being. He questions and explores this idea throughout his work. Gormley states that his work is “an attempt to materialise the place at the other side of appearance where we all live."                

 Gormley's only main criticism has been that others have helped him create his pieces. This even led to some people stealing some of his figurines from The field exhibition as they felt that it wasnt fair. Gormley however has always credited those who help him and thank them for their support its also said that they are paid very well. Gormley protects his work by contracts between himself and the task forces, he always asks for volunteers to help create mass piece whom sign over any rights they have. Gormley needs help with some of pieces he creates as he makes them on such a huge scale that for technical engineering problems there needs to be an expert and for pieces that use many figurines it takes alot quiker to achieve with more man power. Gormley however designs all the pieces himself and is always around to watch over his helpers.

Antony Gormley work has been noted as being eco friendly, he isnt perfect but he does try. When he can he uses materials which are found or can be reycled. Alot of his mass pieces are made from clay which is a sustainable material. Gormleys most famous ecological piece was his Trafalger Square 4th plynth idea. This consisted of getting members of the public writting to Gormley saying why they should be chosen to stand on the Plynth for an hour as an act of art. Eventually they were chosen and for 100 days every hour someone new stood upon it. He saw this as a chance to be able to show the world what london and its people are like. as the piece didnt use any materials except our own bodies it was completely environmentally friendly.  Below is a video which relates to this.
           What i like the most about Gormleys work is why he creates it. He feels a need to explore the outside world by looking at its confinments, seeing the body as not a human being but a home for our soul. He looks for inspiration and ideas outer the box by literally confining himself to one. The placement of his pieces are also very important for him, he is a land artist, i respect that he does travel to look for the right spot for pieces and inspiration rather then just put them in a gallery where the full potention isnt met. This shows me that we have to keep looking around us for ideas and potentials and not to settle for something because its easier or brings in the most money. I really respect Gormley for his work ethic.  

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