?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Eroticdreambattle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Another Place [Sep. 21st, 2008|10:58 am]
Tony Grist
It was a lovely, sunny day- so we went to the seaside.

I almost packed a bucket and spade- we do have a set- but what with the picnic basket and Ailz's bag of books- for revision, you know- I thought we were carrying enough baggage.

We're about thirty miles from the West coast.  I don't know why, but we go there very seldom. Maybe it's because we're Mancunians- and Liverpool- Queen of the West Coast- is a rival city state- hostile territory.  Or maybe it's because we used to belong to a coven in Fleetwood and got sick of making the journey home in the early hours of the morning.

The West coast can be bleak. Our High Priestess- who was a Devon lass- hated it, and ran back down south as soon as an opportunity presented itself. But it's a kind of bleak I like- shining sands as far as the eye can see, the rain blowing in off the Irish Sea....

But yesterday it wasn't bleak at all. We went to Crosby. Crosby is- or used to be- a well-kept secret: miles of sandy beaches fringed by the villas of the Liverpool elite. It's less secret now- because of a quite remarkable artwork- Anthony Gormley's Another Place.

It consists of a hundred, life-size, iron men- dotted about- all gazing in the same direction. They were concieved as a peripatetic installation- and guested at a couple of places on the continent before ending up on Crosby sands, where they stare out to sea and are- all of them- completely submerged at high tide.  They caused such a stir- and became so beloved- that the local Council eventually stumped up a million quid and bought them. So now they're fixed here in perpetuity- or until the sea eats them up.

Gormley also created Gateshead's iconic Angel of the North- so that's two obscure corners of the UK he's turned into sites of pilgrimage. I can't think of any artist in British history who has achieved anything comparable.

The tide goes out very far and comes in very fast. It was close to high tide when we arrived, so only a handful of the men were visible.  I believe the ones that are very far-out have been well encrusted with marine life. The ones at the top of the beach are merely green and scaly. "Oh look, " says the very small boy, "I can see his willy!"









linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2008-09-21 11:13 am (UTC)
What great photos! I've seen pictures of one of those iron men before, but didn't know there were hundreds of them. I am amused that the small boy is clutching his own willy as he points to the iron man's equivalent. And love the Art Deco hotel (is it?) in the penultimate picture. I feel sure Poirot will wander into view at any minute!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-09-21 12:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

I think the hotel is authentically deco- or at least the bit that's standing proud is- but it's current status is apartment block- not hotel- and I think it's only recently been refurbished and- perhaps- extended.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: frumiousb
2008-09-21 11:28 am (UTC)
that's really lovely. I'd love to see those men in person.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-09-21 12:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

They are men of character.....

Incidentally, they were all cast from a mould of the artist's body
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: karenkay
2008-09-21 02:45 pm (UTC)
I like these for the same reason I like Andy Goldsworthy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Goldsworthy). The fact that the installation subject to the vicissitudes of nature, that each of these men is buried at high tide, is so perfect. (Though it must make it hard on the lifeguards.:))
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-09-21 02:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, I like Goldsworthy too.

It's a happy accident that the iron men have ended up in the sea. Their first postings were, I believe, on dry land.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: nostoi
2008-09-21 03:45 pm (UTC)
I was thinking of Andy Goldsworthy too...although his pieces tend to be subsumed back into nature rather quickly don't they?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: nostoi
2008-09-21 03:44 pm (UTC)
I didn't realise there were either so many of them or that they were now sited in just the one place. I remember Private Eye doing a series of cartoons placing the men in ever-increasing places that would cause confusion and discomfort. On the edge of the cliff at Beachy Head being one of them.

Great art! :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-09-21 07:13 pm (UTC)
I believe there are Gormley figures elsewhere. I've seen a picture of one of them standing in the crypt of a cathedral. They take their meaning from their setting, I think.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2008-09-21 05:35 pm (UTC)
That's very interesting and it must cause an impression to see them swallowed up at high tide. Do people stay to watch that?
The photo of teh little boy pointing is wonderful.
:)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-09-21 07:17 pm (UTC)
I'm sure they do.

They wouldn't have to wait long. The tide comes in very fast at Crosby.

The picture of the boy was a lucky chance. I didn't realise I'd caught him pointing until I reviewed the pictures afterwards.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sovay
2008-09-21 05:43 pm (UTC)
So now they're fixed here in perpetuity- or until the sea eats them up.

Those are wonderfully strange. I'd love to see the rest at low tide.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-09-21 07:18 pm (UTC)
Me too.

We'll have to go back again...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: red_girl_42
2008-09-22 02:51 am (UTC)
The second photo with the little boy is priceless!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-09-22 11:44 am (UTC)
Thanks. It was a lucky shot. I didn't realise I'd caught his gesture until afterwards.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2008-09-22 01:58 pm (UTC)
That's a priceless shot of the boy pointing while holding his own crotch. Delightful!

My mother taught art, and she sighed every year during art history when she brought out Venus Emerging, because the boys would snicker and point.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-09-22 06:40 pm (UTC)
The Botticelli?

I loved that one when I was a nipper.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: momof2girls
2008-09-22 02:59 pm (UTC)
Love the picture with the little boy!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-09-22 06:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sina_says
2008-09-23 05:50 pm (UTC)
i can't believe i've never heard of these. they're so evocative. and... sad, somehow.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-09-24 08:57 am (UTC)
They're wonderful, aren't they? I wish I lived a little cloiser- and could visit them in all weathers.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)