Antony Gormley: Field for the British Isles

'From the beginning I was trying to make something as direct as possible with clay: the earth. I wanted to work with people and to make a work about our collective future and our responsibility for it. I wanted the art to look back at us, its makers (and later viewers), as if we were responsible – responsible for the world that it [FIELD] and we were in.'  
Antony Gormley

Since Field for the British Isles was bought by the Arts Council Collection in 1994, it has become one of its most popular acquisitions, on almost permanent tour ever since. Made up of around 40,000 individual pieces, handmade in unglazed terracotta by families in and around Humberside, the work fills the spaces it occupies, creating a sea of figures. Clustered tightly together, they extend around doorways and corners, creating a brick-coloured field that appears limitless in its scale.

The years since its creation have seen Gormley gaining popular recognition. In 1994 he won the Turner Prize for Field and with works like Angel of the North (1998) and Another Place (1997) he has achieved a rare feat: creating critically acclaimed public artworks that have gained an instant and enduring public popularity.

Antony Gormley: Field for the British Isles is the most comprehensive publication on this large-scale work. Featuring a wealth of images of the work, the publication presents the multiple scales experienced by the viewer. The book also features heavily illustrated sections exploring the work’s creation, a newly commissioned text by anthropologist and filmmaker Hugh Brody and a myriad of texts reevaluating this piece in the context of Gormley’s career over the past 20 years.

25 years after its first showing, Antony Gormley: Field for the British Isles offers an invigorating new perspective on this seminal and much-loved work of twentieth-century British art.


AVAILABLE TO BUY via the Southbank Centre Shop


Foreword by Jill Constantine

Essay by Hugh Brody


116 pages

60 illustrations

15.7 x 11 cm

ISBN 978 1 85332 344 7

Designed by Robert Boon



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.