Unlike the Angel of the North, Another Place appealed to me immediately, and made me think – in itself an uncomfortable and rare activity. The figures seem to be watching and waiting for something, searching the horizon. They are also curiously reassuring, timeless and proud. I couldn’t work out whether there was a hint of deep nostalgia or quiet anticipation about them; maybe both. But given the proximity to one of Britain’s largest ports, where millions must have arrived at or left this country, I get a sense of profound change; people coming here to find something better, or taking British genes all over the world for the same reason. Sefton Council say they are a “poetic response to individual and universal sentiments associated with emigration – sadness at leaving, but hope of a new future in another place.” That sounds a bit close to pretentious claptrap to me, though it does also seem similar to my own feelings. The artist, on the other hand, maintains that the figures are “harnessing the ebb and flow of tide to explore man’s relationship with nature.” So there you have it.
I’m guessing you can make your own mind up, though. I’d like to go again, at different times, because of course there will always be something unique about these figures, depending on the hour of day, season, weather, tide - and so on. If you can’t go, there are some spectacular images of these things on the web – much better than my miserable offerings here.
The statues were previously on display in Cruxhaven in Germany, Stavanger, Norway and De Panne in Belgium. In 2006, they were due to go to New York but everybody wanted them to stay – so they did. Hurrah!
More information HERE.