Another Place by British sculptor Antony Gormley consists of 100 cast-iron figures gazing wordlessly out to sea from the beach.
With Liverpool’s history of emigration, sea travel and trade, it seems fitting that these figures have found a permanent home in the area after previous residencies in Norway, Belgium and Germany. Are they looking out with hope at a new future or gazing wistfully at a distant home? Perhaps they’re just contemplating fish and chips at The Good Catch.
Each figure is cast from the artist’s body. It’s not Michaelangelo’s David but there’s an anonymous everyman quality to the statues which are spread out over 3km along the beach, some barely dipping their toes in the water, some part submerged in the Irish sea.
Don’t be tempted to walk to the figures which are further out. Crosby Beach is known for its soft sand, mud and unreliable tides and visitors should stay within 50m of the prom. You don’t want to become the 101st figure in the art installation, stuck in the sand with an incoming tide.
As the sea wears down its uncomplaining cast-iron paddlers, the work is supposed to reflect on man’s relationship with nature. If you can’t count all 100 figures, it’s because they occasionally have to be restored. (Nature sometimes likes to remind us who’s really in control here.)
Main image by Chris Howells