Antony Gormley’s "Another Time II
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An Unforeseen Artistic Icon in Oxford
Embracing the idiosyncrasies of the city of Oxford, an intriguing artistic addition has been made. A colossal, iron-cast man statue, standing tall at seven feet, has found its home on one of Oxford’s most frequented streets – Broad Street. This peculiar piece of England statue art, titled “Another Time II”, is an original work of the renowned British sculptor, Antony Gormley, whose creations often turn heads and ignite conversations.
The Sculptor: Antony Gormley
Renowned for his monumental work, the “Angel of the North”, Gormley’s reputation precedes him. His Antony Gormley sculptures, often based on moulds of his body, are known to captivate audiences with their striking presence and thought-provoking concepts. Gormley, a graduate from Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied Archaeology, Anthropology, and the History of Art, has his Antony Gormley artworks gracing numerous locations across the globe, including Oxford University, London, Waterloo, and Edinburgh.
The Sculpture: Another Time II
Another Time II” is a series of sculptures, each cast from Gormley’s physique. The iron man statue in Oxford, in particular, weighs a hefty half-tonne. Interestingly, its perch is the rooftop of Blackwell’s Art and Poster Shop. This unexpected location adds to the intrigue and mystery of the Another Place sculpture, compelling onlookers to situate themselves in the shoes of the iron man.
The Funding: An Anonymous Benefactor
The acquisition of “Another Time II” was made possible by an anonymous benefactor, who generously funded the effort. The statue’s worth is estimated to be well over £250,000, making this donation a significant contribution to the cultural landscape of Oxford. You can visit this and many other places on an oxfordshire walking tour of the university
The installation process, carried out by Kingerlee men, was a spectacle in itself. Careful measures were taken to secure the arms of the statue, resulting in an underarm lift approach being adopted. The statue was then transported past Balliol College, Trinity College, and finally to Exeter College Oxford, where it was aligned with Martyrs’ Cross.
Reaction of the Residents
The statue’s presence in Oxford has not gone unnoticed. Passers-by, students, and even the rector of Exeter College Oxford, Frances Cairncross, have all had their say on the unusually placed artwork. Cairncross described the statue as “wonderfully stark”, providing a refreshing contrast to the ornate figures at Trinity College.
Stirring the Pot: Controversies and Debates
The statue, despite its artistic allure, has sparked debates within Oxford. Its peculiar location has led to numerous phone calls to local police by alarmed citizens who mistook the statue for a potential suicide attempt. Additionally, council members initially had reservations about granting permission for the statue’s rooftop placement. Despite these hiccups, the statue now proudly surveys the city from above.
Gormley had no initial plans for the statue’s placement on the rooftop in Oxford. However, he was pleased with the outcome. He stated the following about the statue’s placement:
“The casual passer-by in Oxford will ask, ‘What is that naked statue doing up there?,’ for which I hope there will never be a single satisfactory answer.”
This sentiment encapsulates Gormley’s aspiration for the statue in Oxford to ignite curiosity and provoke thought amongst those who encounter it.
The Unseen Resident of Broad Street
Despite its towering height and central location on Oxford’s Broad Street, the iron man often goes unnoticed. Many individuals traverse Broad Street daily without observing the naked man on the roof. Its discovery in Oxford often comes days or even weeks later, adding to the statue’s allure and mystery.
Oxford University students living in the area have begun interacting with the statue in their unique way. Some adventurous ones have even climbed to the roof to dress the statue in various outfits, adding a humorous twist to the otherwise solemn figure.
Impact on Oxford’s Cultural Scene
The addition of “Another Time II” to Oxford’s artistic landscape has undoubtedly stirred conversation and added a fresh, contemporary touch to the city. Its presence challenges the traditional architectural aesthetics of Oxford art, while also adding a layer of modern artistic expression.
“Another Time II” has undeniably etched its mark on Oxford’s cultural scene, becoming one of the notable Oxford sights. It stands as a testament to the city’s willingness to embrace contemporary art, even when it challenges conventional norms. Its presence on Broad Street serves as a reminder of Oxford’s vibrant and evolving artistic landscape, making Oxford a place where history and modernity coexist seamlessly, reflecting Oxford history.
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