Bollards (Oval, Peg, Penis)

2001
Cast iron
100 x 43 x 43 cm
Edition of 999

Antony Gormley is one of several artists who contributed to the £60 million Peckham regeneration project which commenced in 1994. For this Gormley created individually designed lamp-posts, pavements and other street furniture. These bollards, made to the height of more standard versions, were then sited on Bellenden Road, in South London where Gormley also has his studio. Based on the forms of a simple oval, snowman, peg and penis, the bollards are cast in iron and allowed to rust naturally. Inevitably the reception of the unconventional Bollards in Peckham was controversial, and reached the attention of the London press. Whilst the local council withdrew their funding for the bollards, naming the design as controversial, local traders stepped in to fund the project themselves. Ironically, the bollards do not actually require planning permission due to their standard size and remain to this day a prominent feature of the area. The forms of the bollards are refined to basic symbols for the subjects they represent, and consequently have a startling presence. Their substantial volume and differing profiles harmonise through their regular height and placement. The bollards show a different aspect of Gormley's working method. Unlike the majority of his sculptures they are not casts of his own body, but pieces, which are designed to be both sculptural and functional.

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About The Artist

Antony Gormley's work has revivified the way in which the human form is appropriated. Frequently using his own body as the subject of his work, Gormley's innovative use of the body, as a vessel for memory and transformation, explores the collective body and the relationship between self and other. His investigation into the human condition has been realised in highly acclaimed large-scale installations such as Critical Mass (1995), Allotment (1997), Inside Australia (2002), Domain Field (2003), Another Place (2005), and Blind Light (2007). In addition to this Gormley also creates immersive and experiential installations where the participant is confronted with a completely alien and radically new environment, which he or she must traverse. These environments include Blind Light at the Hayward Gallery in which Gormley built a completely unprotected enclosed space. His intention was that this space resembled an exterior space exposed to all the elements, but actually interior in order to create an unsettling and dislocating environment. Antony Gormley's work poses questions about where human beings stand in relation to the greater universe and nature. He continually attempts to identify art as a catalytic place in the process of becoming, where new behaviours, concepts, thoughts and feelings are permitted the opportunity to arise.

‘Bollards (Oval, Peg, Penis)’ is currently on display

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Antony Gormley

Born: 1950