What are artists thinking and doing? We hope you enjoy the fourth in our series of ‘Reflections from Home’. No.4: Antony Gormley, Norfolk, England.
Studio view, High House, Norfolk, 2020
‘This is the window in my drawing studio. From it I look out at sky, trees and earth. On the sill are things I made: small printed models made from scans of my body, some realistic and whole and some made of parts, some made of clay, some made of plastic polymers. There are other things that connect with a wider world, amongst them a little dog (minus tail) made by Vicken, my wife.
The body is our first home but like everything else, it is provisional and like the nests of migratory birds it has to be abandoned: life will go on somewhere else. Both body and room are places where awareness arises: material connection through touch, spatial distance through sight and immersion through sound. I am aware of the limits of our perception.
The Ed Ruscha card has sat there for as long as I’ve had the studio, evoking the mystery of “now”, the present time that eludes us: insisting that time is relative and illusory.
For much of lockdown I’ve been in this room making drawings using crude oil, the materialised memory of the photosynthesis in early marine lifeforms. In spite of the windows being open, the room smells of hydrocarbon octane. I make fields of dots with an eyedropper, a drop at a time, which spread onto the open weave of the paper. Images of body and space arise.
I withdraw to the drawing studio in all seasons, it has a wood burning stove for winter. It has shelves and drawers for my Chinese calligraphy brushes, books and music. I spend as much time in here as I do outside and in the larger studio downstairs, where other matrices grow and sculptures start. The room has a high pitched ceiling. Access to it is through a hatch with a pulley and counterweight. I come up and close the hatch and then feel that I am in a spaceship; a place that is in the world but not of it. From it I look out at the sun, the moon, the darkness and light of the world. Within it I create my own cosmology.’
– Antony Gormley, May 2020
Studio view, High House, Norfolk, 2020 showing a model for the ‘Slabworks’ series
Studio view, High House, Norfolk, 2020, showing a cardboard model made towards the development of Cave, for the Royal Academy exhibition, 2019
Studio view, High House, Norfolk, 2020, showing First Hole, 1977 (right), models for the ‘Blockworks’ series, and early marble experiments from 1978.
Andrew Nairne, Director of Kettle’s Yard, writes: ‘over the coming weeks, we are asking artists we have worked with to offer their reflections from home, through images and text, at a time when millions around the world are homebound.
Jim Ede, its creator, described Kettle’s Yard as “a space, an ambience, a home”. For Ede, the home was a social place in which art and life might become inseparable. As the artist Anthea Hamilton has observed, the Kettle’s Yard House can also be understood as ‘a state of mind’. Of course, for many the concept of ‘home’ is also deeply personal, and often economic and political too, as our recent exhibition ‘Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan’, explored. For Jim Ede, who never forgot his time in the trenches in WW1, Kettle’s Yard was a welcoming sanctuary, a place of renewal and insight which could sharpen how we engage and act in the world’.
Image top left:
Antony Gormley, AFFECT I, 2020, Crude oil on paper, 111 x 77 cm, © the artist
More about Antony Gormley
In 2018 we were delighted to present Antony Gormley’s solo exhibition at Kettle’s Yard, Antony Gormley SUBJECT.
The exhibition was accompanied by a new publication which you can purchase here.
If you have enjoyed this post, please consider donating to Kettle’s Yard.