Visitors flock to see Antony Gormley’s Field for the British Isles

Over 1,300 visitors have seen Turner prize winner Antony Gormley’s exhibition of 40,000 terracotta figures at 20 21 Visual Art Centre in Scunthorpe during its opening week – 400 of those attended the opening on Saturday March 14.

By Stephanie Bateman
Saturday, 21st March 2015, 9:05 am
North Lincolnshire Councillor John Briggs pictured with copies of the Yellow Pages which are to be recycled.
Picture by David Haber
North Lincolnshire Councillor John Briggs pictured with copies of the Yellow Pages which are to be recycled. Picture by David Haber

People travelled from all over including Lincoln, Hull and as far as Nottingham. Mostly couples and adults visited – many said it was their first time to the Arts Centre.

Antony Gormley is renowned for his distinctive representations of the human form, which include Gateshead’s monumental Angel of the North and Another Place – an installation of 100 life-sized cast iron figures at Crosby Beach near Liverpool.

Field for the British Isles comprises 40,000 clay figures sculpted by over 100 pupils and their extended families from two schools in St Helens, Merseyside. The process involved children, parents and grandparents working together, side-by-side, to make the work.

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Around 20 volunteers installed the figures in five days. The exhibition, which is free, runs until 27 June 2015 and is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Comments received at the opening of the exhibition include:

Amazing clay figures, epic!

Breathtaking and hilarious

Stunning, what a breathtaking exhibit - well done

Beautiful, worth seeing

Incredible vision. Will come back and see it again

Absolutely stunning. Filled me with a very peaceful feeling. Have seen it before in Liverpool but looks much more stunning here

Awesome, cool and different

Moved me. Never thought it would, but quite wonderful

Inspirational. Thank you for bringing this exhibition to Scunthorpe

Absolutely fantastic to see. Just the right setting

Lovely place and things to see. Beautiful piece. Made me feel emotional!

Absolutely mesmerising. Fantastic piece of art

The eyes were watching me!

Everything I’d imagined and more – awesome

Very moving. I looked at the exhibit and 40,000 pairs of eyes looked back at me. How fortunate we are here in Scunthorpe to have this exhibit

Great to see this in this space – well done to the staff that brought this to Scunthorpe

Fantastic display – well worth a visit

Amazing and well thought out – quiet and spiritual feel

A ‘soul’ experience. 40,000 individual faces. Very moving and thought provoking

Councillor John Briggs (pictured), cabinet member for asset management, culture and housing at North Lincolnshire Council, said:

“We’ve had a fantastic response during the first week of the exhibition with over 1,300 visitors keen to see this magnificent piece of work.

“We are extremely proud to display Antony Gormley’s work – he is a well-known artist and has produced some incredible work. His Field for the British Isles looks stunning and fits in really well in the Nave Gallery.

“The comments we have received so far have been wonderful and we are pleased to be attracting people from as far as Nottingham. It’s an incredible piece of work and is well worth seeing.”