Asian Field

Sir Antony Mark David Gormley, is a British sculptor. His works include the Angel of the North, erected in the north of England in February 1998. In 2008 The Daily Telegraph ranked Gormley number 4 in their list of the "100 most powerful people in British culture".

Read and identify the keywords in the questions and then read the short article below to find the answers.

Questions 1-3

Identify the following statements as True, False or Not Given

1) The 'Field' sculptures are typical of Gormley's sculptures.

2) The number of soil figures used in Asian Field is the most Gormley has ever used.

3) The soil figures were constructed by a group of volunteers.

Questions 4 -7

Answer the questions with NO MORE than TWO WORDS from the reading.

4) What were people expected to make with a pencil?

5) What was the reason that the figures were arranged in rows?

6) Why were the bottoms of the minature sculptures flattened?

7) What feature made the sculptures 'come alive'?

 

British artist Antony Gormley is well known for his life-size statues which mimic the human body. His Field series, however, represents a different approach. Each work consisted of a couple of ten thousands of small soil figures to up to 210,000 used in his latest piece of the series, Asian Field, 2003. Each of them is between 8 and 26 cm high. They are all installed on the floor of a room facing the viewer.


The process

To create the sculptures, Gormley needed a huge team of people. Each person was provided with a board on which to place a lump of soil, a small water container, and a pencil to create the eye holes. They were also offered a cushion to sit on as well as sufficient floor-space. That made it easier to arrange the figures in rows of ten for easy counting. Every participant was encouraged to find their own unique way of making the figure. They were asked to meet the requirements, which were that each miniature sculpture should be hand-size and easy to hold, the eyes deep and close, as well as the proportions of the head to the body, should be approximately the same. The volunteers were basically asked to design a head and body, flatten the base for comfortable standing, and then make it conscious by giving it eyes using a sharpened pencil.


Requirements
  • The pieces should be hand-sized and easy to hold.

  • The eyes should be deep and close.

  • The proportion of the head to the body should be correct.

Analysis

Gormley states that he wanted to make a work about the human collective future and responsibility for it. His artwork was aimed at looking back on its makers and the viewers as if they are all responsible for the world.

That repeated action of taking a hand-sized ball of clay, squeezing it between your hands, standing it up and giving it consciousness becomes meditative, the repeated action becomes almost like breathing, or a heartbeat.

The concept of Field is simple. The artists used a straightforward incentive to get the public to participate in making the figures – produce many tiny figures and make them lively by giving them eyes so that they can look back at the audience (us). This made the installation to grow bigger and more powerful wherever it traveled, the last one, Asian Field, 2003, containing 210,000 bodies, compared to the first installation, 35,000 bodies. The only moral interpretation of Field – if it even has – is that it reminds the audience that they are active makers, the agents of the future.

Article abridged from https://publicdelivery.org/antony-gormley-field/

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