Critics don't worry artist

2009-10-12 22:14
Antony Gormley isn't bothered by critics of his work. (AP)

Antony Gormley isn't bothered by critics of his work. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - The sometimes scathing reviews of British artist Antony Gormley's public art installation in London's Trafalgar Square are just proof, he said, that it's been as challenging for audiences as he hoped it would be.

"If it wasn't disturbing to people, it wouldn't be doing its job. If it isn't contentious and doesn't get a mixed reaction, it's totally failing," Gormley said on Sunday while visiting Beijing to set up his first solo installation in China.

The piece in Trafalgar Square draws to a close on Wednesday after nearly three months of allowing members of the British public to become art. Over 100 days, 2 400 ordinary people were given a chance to climb atop the seven metre high stone plinth and hang out there for an hour doing as they liked - some stripped and some shouted, others just sat.

A live internet broadcast of One & Other attracted millions of viewers, and people from around Britain travelled to London to take part in or watch it. One columnist described it as "a life-affirming portrait revealing Britain's better side".

But, the show has also drawn its fair share of harsh comments. Art critic Jonathan Jones wrote in The Guardian in September that it was "a sad, feeble, ineffectual excuse for a public sculpture".

Popular artist

Gormley, one of Britain's most popular artists, best known for the Angel of the North, a giant sculpture of a figure with outstretched arms that stands beside a highway in northeast England, said he was surprised by the passion of Jones' critique, but he felt vindicated by the "open-mindedness with which the public have embraced the work".

In an artsy area of a Beijing suburb, the artist installed a floating human figure of whale-sized proportions made out of linked steel pieces and suspended in air with 682 crisscrossing bungee cords. It took five people more than two weeks to get the figure into position and make it stable, Gormley said.

He is now trying to get permission from the Ministry of Culture to do something more interactive in China, he said, but declined to divulge details of the proposed piece.

He said a dream project would be to remove the revolutionary leader Mao Zedong from his tomb on Tiananmen Square and let ordinary people lay in that space for an hour at a time.

"That kind of exercise might be very interesting," he said with a smile. "I think the possibility of it being realised is slim."


Read more on:    arts

Nothing for Mahala!

2013-10-09 09:02

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Madonsela to probe ANC food-for-votes claims

Public protector Thuli Madonsela has launched an investigation into whether the ANC has used state resources for its electoral campaign, says a report.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.