We happened to be driving from Cumbria to North Wales yesterday and it occurred to me that it would a good chance to swing by to see Antony Gormley’s sculptural installation ‘Another Place’.
Gormley’s work features 100 life size cast iron sculptures of his own body which have been installed on a 2 mile stretch of the wide sandy beach at Crosby, just north of Liverpool.
The figures all look out to sea – westwards. Entitled ‘Another Place’ and standing as they do on a beach near a port from where thousands of people left these shores to seek new lives on faraway shores, it only takes a nanosecond to work out Gormley’s theme.
But there’s more to it than just migration. I was struck by the silence and the emptiness it evoked. It’s ironic that by peopling the beach it seemed even emptier, and it reminded me of my utter insignificance in the face of nature, a thought I find deeply reassuring.
They make me look again at what’s around me, look hard and think hard. But perhaps the power of this piece is that you barely have to think about what he’s saying. It’s not often we are reminded so starkley, and on such an epic scale, of our place in the world, our relationship with nature, time and space, about being human, about longing and loss, about migration and the hope of a better life. It also has a lot to say about about being here. Right here. And making the best of what we already have. It’s completely haunting.