I recently spent some time in Liverpool so that i could visit `Another Place` at Crosby Beach a few miles North of the city.
The 100 cast iron sculptures out on the beach are the remarkable work of British artist/sculptor Antony Gormley whose most famous public sculpture is the `Angel of the North` located just outside Gateshead. You may also be familiar with his `Iron Man`in Victoria Square, Birmingham.
The life-size figures produced from a cast of the artist`s own body are positioned along almost two miles (three kilometres) of the beach and protrude out into the sea for over one kilometre. Each figure weighs 650 kilos and is held firm by a 2 metre vertical steel pile driven into the sand.
The figures are impressive gazing out to sea as if waiting for something to happen – a sense of expectation and anticipation pervades the scene. As the tide ebbs and flows each of the figures are partially covered by water. Those furthest out to sea can be covered up to their necks producing an eerie spectacle.
On the day I visited there was a strong wind and it was also bitterly cold but even this could not detract from the excitement of seeing these spectacular sculptures. I walked out to three of the sculptures and could see that they had become encrusted with barnacles, rust, salt and a staining of the metal due to the constant battering and in some cases the submersion of the figures by the incoming sea.
According to Antony Gormley,
`Another Place harnesses the ebb and flow of the tide to explore man’s relationship with nature. He explains: The seaside is a good place to do this. Here time is tested by tide, architecture by the elements and the prevalence of sky seems to question the earth’s substance. In this work human life is tested against planetary time. This sculpture exposes to light and time the nakedness of a particular and peculiar body. It is no hero, no ideal, just the industrially reproduced body of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe, facing a horizon busy with ships moving materials and manufactured things around the planet`
It should be pointed out to visitors that the beach is not a bathing beach and anyone visiting should remain within fifty metres of the walkway and never venture out to the furthest figures. Soft sand and mud combined with the changing tides can make it a dangerous place to visit without taking due care to view them safely.
I parked the car for free at the Crosby Leisure Centre on Mariners Road L23 6SX. This is very close to the beach and there are toilets and refreshments available inside the centre.
There are also a variety of pubs, bars, takeaways, shops and cafes in South road, Waterloo.
Whether you are interested in Art or not it is well worth visiting `Another Place` as it`s such an unusual visitor attraction and its free!
`Another Place` Crosby Beach, Sefton, Liverpool L23 6SX