Earthbound : Plant – Antony Gormley


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“I have now realised that it is the work that makes me…and it’s the work that is in charge… Antony Gormley

I work just around the corner from Earthbound : Plant (2002) by Antony Gormley. This is classic Gormley positioning the human body within the surrounding physical space. What is unusual here though is that the only visible part of the human form are the soles of the feet. If you happen upon them without any reference to Gormley it is all too easy to see this public artwork as footprints. They are, after all, inhabiting the  Cambridge University Downing site, steeped in genius and history. At every turn you are enveloped by intellectual precedent feeding into the present and the future.

On the other hand you are just as likely to pass by unaware of what is beneath your feet, caught up in the headspace of your busy working day.  There is no sign post, ceremony or label. They are a kind of local secret buried underfoot, in the fabric of the cityscape.  This makes me smile. In the hours of 9 to 5 my creativity is buried away deeply yet visible in all that I am, if you care to notice.

Antony nods firmly towards death with this earth encased, upside-down, iron, human figure.  The soles of the feet, unless you spend your days barefoot, are pretty sensitive and hold a certain vulnerability. It is at once permanent and still, whilst also suggesting activity and movement.

I love these feet.

They enrich my days.

They remind me to look at things upside down and inside out.

Thank you Antony.


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