Antony Gormley


A new sculpture by Antony Gormley has been installed in the heart of Newcastle University's campus.

The sculpture, CLASP, is located on King's Walk, in between the Students' Union building and Northern Stage.

The 4.5-metre-high cast iron sculpture is part of the artist's 'Blockworks' series, in which rectilinear blocks replace anatomy with architectonic volumes, using stacking, cantilever and propping, to make a sculpture that juggles the dynamic and the stable. 

CLASP is a translation of two bodies holding each other. The interplay of masses creates a balance of form and feeling. Inspiration comes from fundamental architectural structures, whether the Cyclopean walls of Mycenae, the Trilithons of Stonehenge, or the buildings of Mies van der Rohe. These essential forms of architecture translate through modernism into a tectonic structure, in which each piece plays its part in a whole where dead weight becomes active. 

The new sculpture is formed of 18 individual blocks and cast as one single element in spheroidal graphite iron, its surface colour will naturally evolve over time as an organic response to environmental conditions.

Antony Gormley states: 'Two stacks of blocks find mutual support and together, they make a concentrated, single sculpture that is both body and building.'