In late July this year you’ll be able to get a very unique view of the London skyline from a brand new part of it.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit, designed by Turner Prize -winning artist Anish Kapoor, rises over the Olympic site giving a brand new perspective of the city from its freshly redeveloped home in the East End.The largest public artwork in the UK to date, the Kapoor’s swirling red tower joins a number of big and bold public works of art dotted across the English landscape. With some dating back hundreds of years, it appears that England has quite a history in thinking big when it comes to art.…
Wiltshire has a relative herd of huge white horses. No fewer than nine are carved through the turf of steep chalk hillsides which project out over the gently sweeping countryside. To the south west, over half of Dorset is a designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and looming large over it stands the Cerne Giant, at 54m high and 51m wide. Folklore has it that a visit to the well-endowed giant encourages fertility. Couples trying for kids visit the, ahem, ‘particular feature’ of the naked club-wielding giant from which it derives its nickname: The Rude Giant. And he’s not the only big man on a hill in England. The 84m tall Long Man of Willmington is cut into the chalk hills of East Sussex.
The Angel of the North
Since 1998 these giants have been joined on the English landscape by another figure. Hundreds of miles to the north in Gateshead, Anthony Gormley’s The Angel of the North spreads its iron wings to 54m wide. After a controversial start, ‘The Angel of the North’ is now almost universally loved, and it seems the feeling is mutual; the 20m sculpture’s wings are angled forward 3.5 degrees to create, in Gormley’s words, “a sense of embrace”. Aw group hug!
Also in the North East and longer than a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet, Anish Kapoor’s (him again) enormous Tenemos sculpture stretches a delicate lattice of steel cables between two gigantic steel rings over the historic Middlesbrough docklands.
And coming soon…
The English trend for creating highly visible works of art is set to continue – especially with those white horses. The Angel of the South, as it has been dubbed, is a proposed sculpture to be built at Ebbsfleet in Kent. Mark Wallinger’s sculpture will faithfully resemble a thoroughbred white horse. Only, at 160ft tall, it will be 33 times the size of your average steed. And those clothes-shy giants down south will soon be joined by a 34m high, 400m long, naked woman up north in Northumberland. When Charles Jenck’s Northumberlandia, or the Goddess of the North, is officially revealed to the public in 2013, it is thought that she will be the largest human form ever sculpted into the land.
Would you like a giant work of art near you and what would it be (it doesn’t have to be naked or a horse)?
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