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"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Travel Report: Crosby Beach, Liverpool.

The Statues in the Sand Crosby Beach Liverpool.

Crosby Beach, Liverpool.

May 2019. With so much to see and do in Liverpool, you can certainly forgive visitors for concentrating their efforts strictly on the sights in the city centre.

However, if you find yourself in need of some fresh sea air, I highly recommend a thirty minute train ride out to Crosby Beach. While one can’t actually swim or sunbathe, I’d say it’s an unmissable spot due to its excellent open-air art installation, Another Place, by the British sculptor Antony Gormley.

Antony Gormley's Statues in the Sand Crosby Beach Liverpool.

Crosby Beach, Liverpool.

Better known as The Statues in the Sand, Gormley made each 650-kilo iron sculpture from casts of his own body. Initially, he showcased his creations throughout Europe, in locations across Germany, Norway and Belgium.

At some point there was even talk of them settling in New York City, though the proposal never came to fruition. They finally came to Liverpool in the summer of 2005 and have been here ever since as a permanent display.

Antony Gormley's Another Place Crosby Beach Liverpool.

Antony Gormley’s Statues in the Sand.

Around one hundred of Gormley’s statues stand scattered across Crosby Beach. All stare forlornly out to sea, affording the place a reflective and somewhat spectral feel. Which, as it turns out, is right up my street.

The perfect place, in fact, to throw on some headphones and listen to one of your favourite art rock albums. I’m thinking Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon or Radiohead’s Ok Computer.

Crosby Beach, Liverpool.

Beautiful Crosby Beach in Liverpool

Crosby Beach, Liverpool.

According to Gormley himself, the statues harness the ebb and flow of the tide. His installation is also an exploration of the relationship between humans and nature.

“Time is tested by tide” he explains. “Architecture is tested by the elements and the prevalence of sky seems to question the earth’s substance”. Furthermore, he describes his statues as middle-aged men who are simply “trying to remain standing and breathe as they face a horizon busy with ships moving manufactured goods around the planet”.

The Coastal path at Crosby Beach Liverpool.

The coastal path at Crosby Beach.

You can’t bathe or swim at the beach because of sinking sands, extended areas of mud and rapid, unpredictable changes in the tide. Consequently, many visitors choose to observe the statues from afar on the coastal path that runs along the beach.

Antony Gormley's Another Place Statues in the Sand Crosby Beach Liverpool.

Antony Gormley’s Statues in the Sand.

Despite these warnings, I really wanted to get onto the sand to see some of the statues close up. Luckily, the tide was far out that afternoon, enabling me to check out dozens of nearby sculptures. It was tricky stomping through the sludgy patches of the beach, but well worth the effort.

Antony Gormley Statue in the sand Crosby Beach Liverpool.

Crosby Beach, Liverpool.

Apparently, each sculpture stands at exactly six feet two inches (1.88 meters) high. Which, as you might have already guessed, is Gormley’s height. Despite their uniform look and dimensions, I liked how I never quite knew what I was getting with each statue. One, for example, had been dressed in a blue shirt. Which was just long enough to cover his private parts.

The Statues in the Sand, Liverpool.

One of Antony Gormley's Statues in the Sand Crosby Beach Liverpool.

Antony Gormley’s Another Place.

In contrast, a nearby statue left nothing to the imagination. And, like many, now stands half submerged in the sand. Another poor guy had almost collapsed altogether, leaning sideways in what looks like a desperately uncomfortable position.

Antony Gormley Another Place Crosby Beach Liverpool.

Crosby Beach, Liverpool.

Exposed to nearly fifteen years of the good old British weather, quite a few of these iron men suffer from an infestation of seaweed, barnacles and sea beasties. I found this delightfully ghoulish and wonderful to photograph from close range.

Sand statue Crosby Beach Liverpool

Antony Gormley’s Another Place.

Over time the statues have become much-loved and one of Liverpool’s most visited spots. But it wasn’t exactly plain sailing in the beginning. In the months following their installation there was plenty of negative reaction from Liverpudlians and the local media.

Antony Gormley Statues in the Sand

Crosby Beach, Liverpool.

Some protested over the nakedness. Others complained that they were a safety hazard that tempts thrill seekers into dangerous territory. Nevertheless, the statues seem to have won people over for the most part.

Crosby Beach, Liverpool.

Visit Crosby Beach Liverpool Statues in the Sand.

Antony Gormley’s Statues in the Sand.

Eventually I had to cut my own exploring short. I would’ve loved to push myself just a little further out, but my trainers had gotten exceptionally muddy. Plus, as the warning signs along the beach say, it’s just not worth taking the risk.

Statue in the Sand Antony Gormley Another Place Crosby Beach Liverpool.

Crosby Beach, Liverpool.

You can reach Crosby Beach from any train station in central Liverpool. We came over from Moorfields Station for the half an hour trip to Blundellsands & Crosby. From there we headed north up the beach, taking the train back to central Liverpool from Hall Road.

Visit Crosby Beach in Liverpool.

Antony Gormley’s Statues in the Sand.

Like this? Check out more of my pieces from around Liverpool.

Or maybe search further afield with my articles from all around England.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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3 Comments

  • natty4t

    Really cool.

    July 12, 2019 - 1:32 pm Reply
  • Virginia

    Really cool ….?

    July 15, 2019 - 3:57 am Reply
  • polkaladysjourneys

    Insane sculptures

    September 9, 2019 - 12:23 pm Reply

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