The body is a language before language. When made still in sculpture it can be a witness to life and it can talk about this time now.
Antony Gormley in an interview about his work "Total Strangers"
Sculptor Antony Gormley was born in London in 1950. He read archaeology, anthropology and the history of art at Trinity College, Cambridge between 1968 and 1971. After this, he travelled the Near and Middle East and studied Vipassana meditation with a Burmese teacher in India. This was when he decided to become a sculptor, and he went on to study sculpture at the Central School of Fine Art, transferring after only one year to Goldsmiths College in London. He did a postgraduate course in sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art.
Most of Gormley's works have come to be based on various casts of his own body - in lead, fibreglass, iron or concrete. The Angel of the North at Gateshead (1995-98), which has a wing-span of 54 metres, is said to be Britain's largest sculpture and is also probably his best-known work to date. Field for the British Isles (1993), a collection of 40 000 clay figurines, was recently on exhibition in the British Museum.
Gormley won the Turner prize in 1994 and in 1998 was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to sculpture.
Being a Norwegian noder, I would also like to be so bold as to mention in particular the three art projects Gormley has presented in Norway - firstly his participation in Artscape Nordland with Havmann (the Man from the sea, 1994 - see writeup on Rana), secondly with Another Place - 100 sculptures of men in cast iron at the Sola beach outside Stavanger - and thirdly the permanent exhibition Broken Column in Stavanger city. While the first two were rather controversial at their arrival, a lot of people ended up thinking it a shame when Another Place was removed, and Broken Column was eagerly awaited by many. Although the students and teacher who got one of the sculptures (which are spread across town) in their classroom reportedly weren't too happy, the principal welcomed the artwork, which is now bolted to the classroom floor.
For listings and photos of Gormley's works, see http://www.antonygormley.com