1 EAGLETON NOTES: Another Place

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Monday, 24 October 2016

Another Place

In September Yorkshire Pudding ventured into the alien territory of the Red Rose and one of the results was a rather moving poem  about the Antony Gormley figures at Crosby beach. 

I spent a lot of my youthly social life in Crosby. Amongst other friends was a friend with whom I had a particular affinity who lived with his parents in one of the splendid villas which now look out over the Gormley sculptures:


It was some years since I had been there but my brother and sister-in-law were keen to go earlier in the week. It was a spur of the moment decision when we were in Birkenhead near the Mersey Tunnel and we didn't think to check on the state of the tide.

The sculpture entitled 'Another Place' consists of 100 cast-iron, life-size figures spread out along three kilometres of the foreshore, stretching almost one kilometre out to sea. I saw it when the tide was out and it was amazing although I don't think all the original figures were visible even then and they certainly weren't this visit. Having said that there are more in the photo below than one can see at first glance although I had the advantage of the original photo and a digital loupe.



What saddened me though was the huge amount of detritus lining the water mark:

24 comments:

  1. Not everything that is labeled "art" moves me, but these sculptures certainly do.

    The pollution of our planet's oceans are a huge problem. It should not be all that difficult to do something about it, one imagines, but of course the problem starts right there with each and everyone of us, producing huge amounts of rubbish all the time. Even if it is not you and me (meaning "us", not you and me specifically) chucking our stuff into the water directly and in person, modern lifestyle with all its consumer goods and packaging is directly responsible. And we can't reverse the effect, it seems.

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    1. Meike I found the sculptures more moving when I could see more of them all looking out to sea. There is something quite emotional about looking out to sea: something I do a lot.

      As for the pollution I am aware of it even in the relatively clean waters and shores of the Outer Hebrides although not on the same scale.

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  2. There are a lot more than I realised. I must return when the tide is out.

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  3. I think I've heard of these but had no idea they were so many.

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    1. I think it's the number, Monica, which has the impact. I've seen single figures in other places and their effect is dependent upon placement.

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  4. I have seen "Another Place" twice now - but only at low tide. I would like to see the figures as high tide recedes... emerging from the sea.

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    1. I think, YP, you would be quite disappointed. Although if you sat and watched them for several hours as they emerged you might feel the significance.

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  5. The beach detritus in Brighton (where we have a home) was always just rubbish. Yet about 40 miles to the West the beach detritus was much more interesting. Presumably somewhere in between people are dumping their rubbish into the sea, which then arrives on Brighton beach. Naughty.

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    1. Cro I think that there is now detritus to a greater or lesser extent everywhere in the world.

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  6. You show a beautiful area but have a shocking conclusion with the garbage strewn water line. I wonder how long the planet will survive with such a huge garbage load.

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    1. I think, Red, a lot depends on how one defines 'survive'.

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  7. And beside the obvious garbage dump, I'm also irate that there are wind turbines disturbing the lovely view of the water. PS...what keeps the tides from displacing these statues?

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    1. Jill the wind turbines are controversial. Many believe they have a beauty all of their own. Many believe they are better out at sea than on land. The one thing the majority of people agree is that they are necessary if we are to have clean energy - so long as it's 'not in my back yard'. I think the statues are all anchored onto concrete.

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    2. Graham the same "not in my back yard" sentiment is prevalent here in the US also.

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  8. I'd love to see these sculptures though I do think they are very spooky. They look like they need rescue-ing ! Rubbish in the sea is a real worry isn't it?

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    1. Helsie in a funny sort of way the figures are spooky. I'd not thought about the 'rescue' interpretation but I see it now you've mentioned it. The rubbish is a serious worry.

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  9. It is appalling the way we pollute our beautiful country (and the sea). Even stiffer penalties wouldn't stop people chucking stuff overboard. Heartbreaking.

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    1. Frances some people live their lives that way and those who don't will never change them (and I speak as a born optimist).

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  10. That would be amazing to see those statues emerging out of the tide. I didn't notice any rubbish on your Hebridian beaches, another reason why I loved them so much. I've noticed there is more rubbish on 90 Mile Beach (not a lot, but some) than on Taranaki beaches. Blame the ocean currents, I guess. For where it ends up, not for its existence, of course.

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    1. Pauline we are fortunate in that there is very little rubbish on our beaches as you say but there's still some - usually things that can float and have obviously been jettisoned by boats rather than the detritus in the photo above.

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  11. I too would love to see these statues in person...they're interesting yet kinda eerie at the same time.

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    1. Virginia you hit the metaphorical nail on the head.

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  12. That is a pretty amazing art project, and would be awesome to see.

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