Posts Tagged ‘Antony Gormley’

Cold Snap and Lunch in Liverpool

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

It’s a wee bit chilly in Manchester. In fact, it’s really bloody cold. Over the weekend Manchester and beyond had a decent amount of snow – enough to be able to say, “It’s snowing!” without looking like an overexcited Australian.

snow

Look at that snow!

On Saturday I headed to Yorkshire with my cousin Les where we took boring motorway routes and extra caution in order to avoid slippery roads and potential death. I really enjoy driving into snow, particularly at night, as the wind and forward movement of the car gives the snow a ‘speed tunnel’ effect and it appears as if you’re driving into some sort of time warp. If the snow was rainbow coloured it would have been particularly swinging 60s-esque.

The last two days have been beautiful – crisp blue skies and sunshine. Of course the lack of cloud coverage means temperatures are hovering around zero and my nose is a constant shade of beetroot. It did present the perfect conditions for a quick visit to Antony Gormley’s Another Place installation at Crosby Beach yesterday.

Antony Gormley statue

Nice view.

Sir Pubert Gladstone’s dad was in town for a weekend visit and the three of us headed to Liverpool for a bit of culture. After a slightly disappointing wander around the Tate (clearly they keep all of the good stuff in London) and a deliciously cheesy lunch at the Docks, we headed to the beach to check out Antony’s Iron Men spread out down the coast. This is one of my favourite places in England and it was nice to be able to visit before I head back to Australia.

Liverpool docks

Liverpool Docks in the sunshine

Seaweed Men and the Elusive Red Squirrels

Monday, April 28th, 2014

On Sunday Sir Pubert Gladstone (see Who is She? blog post) took me on a secret mystery tour. He was slightly disappointed when my first response to his question of “Where have you been near Southport?” was exactly where he was planning on taking me. Not to matter – the sun was shining, the rapeseed fields were out in full yellow bloom, and we were off to the beach. Our destination – Formby beach with an additional side trip to see Antony Gormley’s installation, Another Place, at Crosby. I had done this day trip with my cousin Caroline and her son, Meryan, but we had spent most of our day climbing up and down sand dunes and I was very keen to go back to Crosby to see the sculptures up close and personal.

Our first stop was Formby where we entered the National Trust forest reserve that is one of the few places in the UK where you can find red squirrels. The supposedly evil grey squirrels have taken over and spotting a native red is a rare occurrence. After a picnic in the sunshine on beach and a very disappointing game of frisbee (turns out I throw like a girl), we headed into the forest to look for the squirrels. We had been told it was highly unlikely we would spot any and after wandering around staring at tree tops for 20 minutes we gave up. No squirrels here. As we headed back to the car, I took the opportunity to visit the loo and there, near the toilet blocks, most likely having just stolen some food from one of the bins, was a red squirrel. Tick.

Crosby beach

Crosby beach

Our next stop was Crosby where the tide had gone out far enough for us to be able to walk across the seabed and visit some of the statues. I have such amazing memories of seeing Antony Gormley’s installation at Lake Ballard and had been wanting to see the statues at Crosby and compare the works. These statues are cast from Antony’s body and are spread across along the coast spaced 500 metres apart. As the tide comes in, they are submerged in water and are covered in seaweed, salt and other crusty textures.

Antony Gormley statue

Antony Gormley statue

I found the experience at Lake Ballard more spectacular but the isolation of the salt lake is hard to beat. At Crosby it was interesting to see the different textures that have built up on the various statues depending on their position in the seabed. Some had almost completely transformed into salty sea creatures while others remained relatively clean. They all looked quite content to be standing in the sunshine staring out to sea.

Crusty.

Crusty.

Spontaneous Sunshine, Sea Water and Sand Dunes on a Sunday

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

I have been very behind with my blog updates. As per usual I could rattle off excuses but I won’t. Instead I pretend that I am completely up to date and talk about events of the past as if they just happened.

It seems like just yesterday that my ‘cousin,’ Caroline, and her three year-old son, Meryan, took me to the beach. Sure, it was two Sundays ago but that’s besides the point. The night before I had been drinking beer at a very un-German Oktoberfest in a large tent outside the town hall when Caroline messaged me to see if I happened to be free on the Sunday.  We decided to make plans in the morning.

On Sunday I woke to unseasonal blue skies and a light breeze and Caroline and I decided that we should risk the extremely likely chance that the weather would change by lunch time and go to the beach. Caroline, Meryan and I headed off in the car to Formby – a long stretch of sandy beach near Liverpool.

It could almost be Australia.

It could almost be Australia.

When we arrived and I smelt the sea air I felt this ridiculous rush of excitement that I now get every time I am near the sea. Having grown up with daily sea breezes and easy access to ocean water, I never realised how much my body needs to feel these sensations. I have now spent 2.5 years living in land-locked cities and each time I venture to the sea side I feel an instant kick of revitalisation. It is as if my body sucks in the salty fresh air and I wake up, grow and my hair becomes instantly blonder. I’m not sure who was more excited to be by the sea – myself or three year-old Meryan. I think we were on par.

Formby is known for its receding tides and and pre-historic footprints that can sometimes be found in the muddy shore. I didn’t get to see any footprints but we were lucky enough to have a remarkably sunny day. We had a picnic, sailed the seas on a log boat with Captain Meryan, and climbed up and down sand dunes. I collected an impressive amount of sand in my shoes and my underwear from sliding down sand dune hills on my rear-end (Meryan worked out how to do it and Caroline and I just followed along.)

Dunes. Glorious dunes.

Dunes. Glorious dunes.

Before driving back to Manchester we stopped at Crosby beach to briefly look at Antony Gormley’s permanent installation – Another Place. Statues are positioned down the beach, staring out to the horizon. The setting sun and increasingly blustery conditions made for a very impressive viewing of these statues. I want to come back and explore them further at a later date.

Another Place, Antony Gormley.

Another Place, Antony Gormley.