British artist Antony Gormley (b.1950) has over the past 30 years revitalised the human form in sculpture through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation. “I am interested in the body”, he says, “because it is the place where emotions are most directly registered. When you feel frightened, when you feel excited, happy, depressed somehow the body registers it.”
Gormley has explored the relationship between the individual and the community in large-scale installations such as Allotment (1995), Domain Field (2003), Another Place (1997) and Inside Australia (2003). Angel of the North (1995/98), one of his most celebrated works, is a landmark in contemporary British sculpture. Field (1991), an installation of hundreds or thousands of small clay figures sculpted by the local population, has been enacted in various locations throughout the world, involving local communities across four continents. “Sculpture is an act of faith in life, in its continuity”, comments Gormley. “We all do things like this; we have a stone that we keep in our pocket which is a guarantee of life's continuity, and it has to do with hoping that things will work out, that life will be okay.” More recently, the engagement of the public in active participation has continued beyond the gallery space in Clay and the Collective Body (2009) and the acclaimed One & Other (2009) commission in London’s Trafalgar Square.
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