19 October 2013

A visit to Antony Gormley's studio

It is not often that an opportunity arises that is so incredible and exciting that you can’t believe your luck - but being a member of CreateVoice certainly goes some way to improving your chances of such opportunities. I September, the V&A's youth board and Museum Director Martin Roth were invited to visit the studios of the inspirational British sculptor Antony Gormley.

From an early age I have always been inspired by the unrelenting, dynamic and beautiful sculptural work of Gormley. The sculptor is arguably most recognised for his work; ‘Angel of the North’ – erected in 1998. What struck me immediately when entering the gates of Gormley’s studio, was the impenetrable grandeur and finesse of the building. This converted warehouse designed by architect David Chipperfield, was vast both in its external presence on this unassuming quiet backstreet, as well as inside. The cavernous, hangar-like space inside, was meticulously designed to provide the artist and his team of assistants with the most amount of natural light possible.

They say that you should “never meet your heroes”. This phrase is often used as a gentle warning, discouraging enthusiastic youths from meeting their idols, in fear of being let down. Luckily for CreateVoice, meeting Antony Gormley himself only served to further expose him as the engaging, accommodating and passionate artist we have always admired. Gormley and his assistant generously took us on a tour around his studios - from the vast exploratory studio spaces, to rooms filled with previous experimental works as well as to his intimate office space which was crammed with natural forms, sculpture maquettes and artists books.

Gormley took the time to explain the processes behind his sculptural pieces both past and present and both in logistical terms as well as the thought processes behind the concept. His practice has always manifested itself around the human form. As Gormley discussed the concepts, his articulation and understanding of the human form (from its physiological associations to the biological and psychological renderings of it) was mind blowing. His passion and commitment to his practice was overwhelming and yet he took the time after the tour to engage with the members of CreateVoice individually. For me, meeting Antony Gormley was one of the most incredible experiences I have had with CreateVoice to date. For me, Gormley cemented his position as a committed, groundbreaking and inspirational artist whose dedication and commitment to people is as strong as his practice.





Words: Kerry Campbell
Images: Laura Blair & Issy Spence (images 5 & 6)

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