I do like my art (especially sculptures; as proved here and here!), however I tend to get a bit freaked out by large statues (this post has some rather terrifying examples) – apparently it’s a thing (lots of people experience it – I promise!!). In particular, statues of people in / near water scare the shit out of me. I don’t know why. I’ve tried quizzing my parents but none of them seem to recall anything from my childhood that might have contributed to this fear – I’m not entirely sure I believe them, but so far they are sticking to their story!
With this in mind, I was a little apprehensive to visit Crosby Beach near Liverpool. Home to 100 ‘Iron Men’ as part of Antony Gormley’s public art work ‘Another Place’.
Spread over 2 miles of coastline, the statues stand at random points across the sand and water, submerged to different degrees depending on the tide.
Feeling brave, I wandered over to look at two of the closest figures. Close up, as they were proportionate to a ‘normal’ person, they didn’t feel so scary and it was actually interesting to see how the weather and water had affected each statue differently. Some were covered in barnacles, some were more mossy and others relatively untouched.
It was a sunny, bright day, packed with hundreds of people enjoying the uncharacteristically warm bank holiday weather. The shouts and sounds of people playing in the sand made the statues seem less freaky and more interesting.
That being said, the statues were actually more creepy from a distance, where the impact of so many still and silent figures could trigger the imagination into thinking they looked slightly closer than before……
I can imagine that if I was to visit on on a cold early morning, when the sounds are limited to the bird cries and sea, I would have a very different experience of the Iron Men.