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Antony Gormley: Field for the British Isles


Saturday 16th November 2019 - Sunday 8th March 2020
10:00 - 17:00
Free event

Experience this vast and iconic artwork Field for the British Isles at Firstsite, celebrating community, individuality and togetherness.

Field for the British Isles, which consists of 40,000 tiny individual terracotta figures, is the largest single artwork in the Arts Council Collection and its arrival in Colchester will herald the latest stage in the journey of this spectacular piece. It was made by Gormley in 1993 with 100 volunteers who were each given a portion of clay and instructions for the size and shape he wanted for the figures.

At each exhibited location, the configuration of Field is changed to suit the space, but the thousands of small figures are always installed to resemble a dense carpet, with each figure looking directly at the viewer. In Firstsite the figures will swarm through the rear half of the building, including throughout the main gallery spaces – a seemingly endless mass confronting the viewer.

Gormley himself said of the artwork: “Thirty tonnes of clay energised by fire, sensitised by touch and made conscious by being given eyes … a field of gazes which looks at the observer making him or her its subject.” The artwork echoes and underlines our abiding vision of creativity, equality and opportunities for all. Installation of this monumental artwork at Firstsite will be achieved by a team of community volunteers. Access to the exhibition is free of charge, but donations are requested.

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