Monday, May 21, 2007

Bodies of Work - the ultimate 'still life'?

"The Eyes have it"
pencil on paper
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The body of Antony Gormley - in cast form - can currently be found standing on 31 rooftops in London. Gormley's body of work focuses on the body and his body in particular. One of his latest outdoor installations "Event Horizon" is a public art commission which presents presents life sized sculptural casts of the artist's body on rooftops and public walkways across central London. At the same time his work can be seen at "Blind Light" an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery (Thursday 17 May 2007 - Sunday 19 August 2007) which is the major showing in London of his work. "Blind Light" a book about his work has been published by Cornerhouse (ISBN 9781853322587). Channel 4 also aired "Making Space", a new documentary about Gormley and his work last week which discusses why and how Gormley makes his work. Gormley is simply everywhere!

If you want any more Gormley, you can also hear him discussing his work in conversation with Will Self on the 24th July at the Purcell Room in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Note - tickets for the first four days of the exhibition sold out and this will too if it hasn't already.

The exhibition features a series of brand new monumental works specially conceived for The Hayward’s distinctive spaces, including one of the largest ever urban public art commissions, Event Horizon, which features sculptural casts of the artist’s body on rooftops and public walkways across central London, dramatically transforming the city skyline. These new works, including a spectacular series of suspended figures created in light-infused webs of steel, are shown alongside a selection of works from the last three decades. ("Blind Light" - introduction on Southbank Centre website)

"Blind Light" is a chamber filled with a cloud. It's the equivalent of being on top of a mountain in cloud and is disorientating. You can see something of what "Blind Light" is like here. Those who enter become themselves subject matter viewed by others.

For those of you who'd like to find out a bit more about his work, here are some links:
Another Place is a massive installation on Crosby Beach that consists of 100 cast-iron figures, moulded from the artists own body in the style that has become synonymous with his work. The ghostly life-size figures are dotted along three kilometres of the Crosby shore, sparse in some areas and getting more congregated as they reach the sea front, so onlookers can catch the detail of those near and the shadow of sculptures in the distance out to sea in one eyeful. (BBC Liverpool)
Art is the means by which we communicate what it feels like to be alive - in the past that was mixed up with other illustrative duties but that was still its central function that has been liberated in the art called modern. Art is not necessarily good for you or about communicating "good things". (Anthony Gormley)
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1 comment:

vivien said...

an interesting piece Katherine :)

I think he's an interesting artist - I saw his Field at the Tate in Liverpool and it was extremely powerful, I think his work has a real presence that doesn't always come through in photographs.

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