Arts Council Collection

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Field for the British Isles by Antony Gormley

Field for the British Isles by Antony Gormley

 

 

Antony Gormley, Field for the British Isles, 1993, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © the artist

Field for the British Isles is one of Antony Gormley’s best-loved works of art, featuring 40,000 clay figures.  In 1996 Field was purchased by the Arts Council Collection, with the support of the Henry Moore Foundation and the National Art Fund.  Since its acquisition Field has been seen by over 500,000 visitors in Aberystwyth, Carlisle, Colchester, Gateshead, Gloucester, Lincoln, London, Salisbury, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, St Ives, Yorkshire, St Helens, Somerset and most recently at the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe, in venues as diverse as a trainshed, a church, a cathedral, a gallery, and a warehouse. 
 
Winner of the 1994 Turner Prize, Antony Gormley is renowned for his distinctive representations of the human form. Gormley has described Field as ‘...twenty-five tons of clay energised by fire, sensitised by touch and made conscious by being given eyes...a field of gazes which looks at the observer making him or her its subject’. This arresting installation comprises a sea of miniature terracotta figures, clustered together. Some stand out because of their size and character, others are greyer than the earthy reds of the majority. The overall sight is both captivating and mesmerising. The figures were handmade by 100 people, aged seven to 70, from a community in St Helen’s, Merseyside in 1993.  Every time Field is exhibited it takes about a week to install by a team of volunteers.
 
In 2005 Field was presented at Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park. A time-lapse film was made by ArtisanCam to document the installation of the work at Longside Gallery. A short film charting the responses of a group of local school children was also made. Find out more about Antony Gormley and the making of these films on the Culture Street website.
 
A new education information pack to accompany Field for the British Isles can be dowloaded below.