It’s surprising what makes your bucket list.  It can be something exotic, expensive or difficult to attain.  Or it can just be something that lodges in your brain and your gut for an unknown reason, and needs acting upon.  That’s what happened to me with Antony Gormley’s set of sculptures on Crosby Beach.

Heading to Another Place, Crosby Beach

A few years back I met some of Antony Gormley’s cast iron, life size figures, which are spread out the foreshore at Crosby.  Known as Another Place, the installation is made up of 100 figures  They are all made from casts of the artist’s own body, and shown at different stages of rising from the sand.

Antony Gormley states that Another Place “harnesses the ebb and flow of the tide to explore man’s relationship with nature”, saying:
 “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.”

Bucket List Trip

I don’t remember when the awareness of Another Place first seeped into my consciousness.   I do know that it had been on my bucket list for some time.  We had hoped to drive to Crosby the month before when we were in Chester.  At the time, wet were thwarted by snow, and lots of it.   Armed with a cheap rail ticket offer from London Midland, we found a day to go and meet the Gormleys.

Crosby Beach

Eager to see the statues, I fairly bounded up Hall Road to the coastguard station.  And there they were, as starkly outlined as I’d imagined against a low tide, the industrial landscape, and a line of wind turbines.  The weather was suitably grey and wuthering, and the tide was out far enough to see a large number of the 100 men.

Up close and personal with the art: holding Mr Gormley’s hand

I had heard that they spent some time dressed up.  Number 22 had a particularly fetching outfit for the day, although somewhat unsuited to the weather.

A size 18 bikini, I recall, and a large sarong, both seeming rather capacious for Mr Gormley.

His poor feet looked very chilly, and I loved the way that the sea life had taken over.

Some of the installation is covered by the tide, and the marks of sea life are evident.

Short Visit, Lasting Impressions

Just an hour or so.  That’s all it took to fulfill this part of the bucket list.  Then back to Liverpool for drinks in the Philharmonic, with its statues of mermaids to the left and mermen to the right.  I remember the cabbie looking us up and down when we asked for the Philharmonic, and pondering for a moment.  “I think that’ll be the pub not the orchestra, eh?”

I thawed out, finally, on the train home.

Author: Bernie

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