Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Figures in clay

Yesterday I visited Barrington Court, Somerset to see the Antony Gormley ‘Field for the British isles. This is part of an interesting initiative by the National Trust to involve contemporary art within their properties. Is there something ‘in the air’ about figures at the moment? I keep seeing them everywhere so will now show you more.

‘Field for the British Isles’ is the fifth in the series that Antony Gormley has made around the world with hundreds of volunteers from diverse communities. These figures were made by people of all ages in St Helen’s and Merseyside for an exhibition at Tate Liverpool and has toured to numerous galleries and historic venues. I was so lucky to see it had been installed at Barrington Court which a fascinating old house and lovely garden not far from me. The Great Hall, Buttery and the Kitchen have been ‘invaded’ by masses (40,000) of tiny clay figures which silently return your gaze. Each figure is unique, the entire mass suggesting past and future generations and ‘reflecting humanity as a whole’.

No photos were allowed as you would expect but I did take the opportunity that the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen were giving everyone – to make clay figures of their own to contribute to their own ‘Field for Somerset’ at Barrington Court for Somerset Arts Event in September.  

my figure1our figures

It was great fun moulding the clay to make our own figures. We’re looking forward to seeing ours added to the ‘Field for Somerset’ which are being installed in the bushalls (Somerset word for cow stalls) at Barrington Court.

in the bustalls1


  1. I visited this exhibition recently, it is fantastic, I also listened to his film and found him a surprisingly spiritual person.
    My clay figure is just in front of the wooden partition first on the left in the corner and most definitely female. My earth mother

    1. How lovely you can identify your figure Debbie. I wonder if I'll ever see mine. I wonder if we can relate to our own creations - a bit like spotting your own 'baby' in a crowd.They all seem to have such individual characters an their eyes seem to suggest a sort of seeking or pleading. I'll post an image of some children's comments about the figures.

    2. I know where mine is because I put it there, where I could find it. On the day I did mine we all got to carry our own through the garden I'm not sure whether I could find it otherwise though as you say they do all have there own character.

  2. What a lovely idea. I had heard about it but hadn't seen any of the figures. They are strangely moving.

  3. Wow. You worked really hard for that. But, It's worth it cause I love it. It's a work of art. And Thanks for sharing. I really appreciated it.

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