History and museums
Another Place is a piece of modern sculpture by Sir Antony Gormley. It consists of 100 cast iron sculptures of the artist's own body, facing towards the sea.
After being displayed at several locations in Europe, it has become permanently located at Crosby Beach in northwestern England. The work was controversial in the local area due to issues such as possible economic gain or environmental damage from tourism. A meeting on 7 March 2007 by Sefton Council accepted proposals that would allow the sculptures to be kept permanently at Crosby Beach in place of being moved to New York.
The work consists of cast iron figures which face out to sea, spread over a 2 mile (3.2 km) stretch of the beach between Waterloo and Blundellsands. Each figure is 189 cm tall (nearly 6 feet 2½ inches) and weighs around 650 kg (over 1400 lb).
In common with most of Gormley's work, the figures are cast replicas of his own body. As the tides ebb and flow, the figures are revealed and submerged by the sea. The figures were cast at two foundries, Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Joseph and Jesse Siddons Foundry in West Bromwich.
Another Place was first exhibited on the beach of Cuxhaven, Germany, in 1997 and after that in Stavanger in Norway and De Panne in Belgium.
Another Place is a subject of local controversy in Merseyside. Some consider the statues to be "pornographic" due to the inclusion of a simplified penis on the statues, whilst others see them as beautiful pieces of art which have brought increased tourism revenue to the local area.
Originally the statues were due to be relocated in November 2007. Those who use the front for watersports voiced the strongest resistance to the iron men staying, as they claimed the statues posed a safety problem. Art lovers and local businesses lobbied for the statues to stay. Gormley himself agreed with the proposal to keep the statues at Crosby Beach, saying the location was "ideal". The works became a major tourist attraction on Crosby Beach north of Liverpool.
In March 2007 permission was granted to have Another Place permanently installed at Crosby. Initially, coastguard authorities expressed safety fears, saying people could become stuck in soft sand and be cut off by the tide when viewing the statues up close.
Conservationists also complained that bird-feeding areas had been compromised by the extra tourist traffic. Other biologists from the University of Liverpool used the statues as an opportunity to look at the colonisation of the statues by sessile intertidal organisms, such as barnacles.
In October 2006, the local council refused to give permission for the statues to stay, prompting Gormley to criticise what he called Britain's "risk-averse culture." He said "When I have been down on the beach myself, the majority of people have been intrigued, amused, sometimes very moved," he said.
Another Body Place Ltd, a body set up to campaign for the permanent installation, helped to convince the council to change its mind.
Graham Haywood, Chief Executive of Sefton Council, said in a statement "Despite some controversy, this internationally renowned artwork has aroused national and international public and media support." Saying that "The Iron Men have placed Crosby and Sefton firmly in the spotlight and the knock-on benefits of this should be felt for years to come."
The planning committee decided to move 16 of the statues back away from an area used by small sailing craft. Three others are being re-sited away from bird feeding areas. The work on the 16 started on 16 July 2007 and the plan is to put them in storage and return them in 2008. The full cost is expected to be £194,000 which will be paid for by Another Place Ltd, with funding coming from sources including The Northern Way and Northwest Development Agency.
On 14 February 2008, five of the statues were used in a costume design project by Edge Hill University students. This involved dressing the statues in various items of clothing replicating different costumes and periods, which were then removed as the tide came in.
Gormley has produced other works using similar life-size iron statues.
A second set of the same 100 figures were cast in 2006 for a new installation called Time Horizon installed amongst a grove of olive trees at the Archaeological Park of Scolacium near Catanzaro in Calabria, Southern Italy. Since the figures are set into the ground, facing a variety of directions, the effect of the piece is very different from that of Another Place.
Event Horizon consists of 31 statues placed on buildings around London.
Horizon Field consists of 100 statues placed across 150 square kilometres in the Austrian Alps.