Wondering whether to jump in, or await the tide at flood, the inviting vista of the new horizon. Ahead are the pioneers, already well on the way, towards the depths and that new horizon. The new world beckons.
Figures at Antony Gormley’s Another Place, Crosby beach, Sefton – the gift that keeps on giving.
When the tide is out, for long man and his companions stand proud together, facing the western horizon, full of promise.
Inevitably the tide turns, heads back towards the shore. Wave after wave comes closer, at first harmless, but soon a sea of troubles.
The forward phalanx slowly disappear from view, then ever more of his companions. Soon the waves lap at his feet, up his legs, to his torso.
He is alone. The occasional wave splashes right over his head, yet recedes. He endures, again and again submerged.
Unbowed, he is the survivor. The primitive force of earth and moon spent, the waves slacken, begin to recede, new hope kindled.
Soon the heads of companions appear in the lull of a wave. New life, new companionship, the promise of idyllic times again…
The cycle of earth, of life, of man.
* * * * *
Inspired by a high tide at Antony Gormley’s Another Place on Crosby Beach, where 100 cast iron figures face towards the sea at varying distances from the land. In my mind this presents a metaphor of the wave of troubles now besetting us human beings, with the effects of global warming, the floods and wildfires, the species extinctions, the pullution, the failing societies, shortages of resources, the covid pandemic, the rise of nationalism and inequality, and on and on. Nature tells us there will be a way through, but many of us may not like it…
Antony Gormley’s installation ‘Another Place’ on Crosby Beach, Merseyside, continues to be a favourite place to visit. Identical statues of Gormley himself are placed across the beach and into the sea.
Who is this?
Some of the statues have become very weather worn; others are in relatively good condition – and they’re quite an attraction for visiting dogs.
Always, the statues look out to sea – the perennial search for what lies beyond…
Featured image shows the view from the beach towards Birkenhead on the other side of the River Mersey.
We arrive at Crosby Beach to see Antony Gormley’s Another Place once again. We happen to arrive at a super high tide, waves are splashing on the promenade and it has just started gently raining. Gormley’s men are mostly under water. Not much chance of photos in this greyness.
But then, from the west new weather appears with a ribbon of light on the horizon and over the Welsh mountains, which slowly broadens as the tide begins to recede, releasing Gormleys men from watery submersion.
The light highlights the mass of windmills in Liverpool Bay, evidence of mankind reaching forth to a more enlightened world beyond fossil fuels. So not too bad for photos after all.
One of my favourite places to visit in the North West of England is Crosby Beach, home to Antony Gormley’s Another Place. The beach is studded with statues of a man looking out to sea, and the effect is remarkable.
The statues, beach, sea, skyline and offshore wind farms provide almost infinite possibilities for photography (not forgetting the starlings).
I rather like this one, at telephoto zoom, showing pooled water on the beach, with the windfarm in the background. In between is the deepwater channel where you occasionally see vessels making their way to/from Liverpool. The shadow on the horizon is the hills of North Wales.
The large sandy beach makes a good place to walk, but is not usually appropriate for traditional ‘bucket and spade’ activities as there is usually a fair wind.
And what’s this about wind farms being an eyesore? In the right place they can even add to the natural beauty of a location, which is not really something you can say about a nuclear power station. Yes I’m biased.