Antony Gormley on Hayward Gallery

Saturday, October 8, 2016 - 00:00

Antony Gormley is one of the pre-eminent British scultpors of his generation. He also has a long affinity with the Southbank Centre's Hayward Gallery. His 2007 solo exhibition here at Hayward Gallery was also his first major showing in a public gallery in London.

In 2016, during its temporary closure for refurbishment, Gormley took time to share his thoughts on Hayward Gallery.

View of Event Horizon part of Antony Gormley Blind Light at The Hayward. Photo copyright Gautier Deblonde
View of Event Horizon, Antony Gormley. Part of Blind Light at Hayward Gallery, 2007. Photo: Gautier Deblonde

On Hayward Gallery

‘Hayward Gallery is a unique and wonderful venue for London. There’s a sense in which it doesn’t just occupy its site, it owns it. It digs itself in as part of the bank of the Thames, and as such, there is no other gallery like it, either in London or Britain.’

 

On its architecture

‘It’s a unique and extraordinary resource. I think of it as a concentrating chamber. The whole building is made like a skull. Cast concrete that integrates its breathing and if you like, its view of the world. Where it has windows, they are very particular. How it relates to the outer world is very particular.’

 

Antony Gormley Event Horizon at Blind Light Exhibition at Hayward Gallery 2007 Photo PHIL STAPLETON
Event Horizon, Antony Gormley. Part of Blind Light at Hayward Gallery 2007 Photo: Phil Stapleton

On the Hayward’s sculpture terraces

‘I think the great thing about where the Hayward is, is it allows you to engage with London at large. And the marvellous thing about those three sculpture terraces is that they allow you to look on London itself as a representation, as a project, as a made landscape. Rather than having to make a painting of it, you can actually see the thing itself.’

On Event Horizon

‘The idea of Event Horizon was that you could offer people the city again, with the catalysts of these small life-sized body forms that were on the ground and then on the skyline, and invite them to look at the conversation between buildings, and think about this place, whether they were visitors or London was their home.’

 

On the refurbishment of Hayward Gallery

‘I am so glad that this has happened, that the Hayward has been respected, that its original rooflights have been returned to it. The distinction between fully enclosed spaces and spaces that will be irradiated by natural light is restored. That its unique material and mass is preserved for generations to come.’

 

3. Gormley, Blind Light 2007
Blind Light (2007), Antony Gormley. Part of Blind Light at Hayward Galley, 2007. Photo: Stephen White

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