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Get to know A Bit About Britain - an idiosyncratic view of places to visit in Britain, British history - and stuff. Warts and all. Where shall we go today?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Another Place

Crosby, statues, Antony Gormley, Another Place, bit about Britain
You wouldn’t go to Crosby, just up the coast from Liverpool, for bathing.  The sand is soft, more like mud, and the tide can wash in with alarming speed.  But you might want to take a look at the one hundred 6’ high iron figures, cast from the artist Antony Gormley’s own body, standing like silent sentinels on the beach - and up to a kilometre out to sea.

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.

Crosby, statues, Antony Gormley, a bit about BritainI’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.


  1. I have never yet seen these for real - major omission, must remedy it.

  2. I feel like it was almost a life-changing event to see all these guys - it's incredible and I will never forget it!


Hi - thanks for dropping into A Bit About Britain. New material is now being posted to and most of the material here will gradually be updated and moved over to that new site. Please drop in there, click on the blog page, and take a look round. TTFN - Mike.