Antony Gormley Angel of the North

Antony Gormley Angel of the North

Sculptor Antony Gormley created the Angel of the North for Gateshead Borough Council. It is located next to the main road into Newcastle upon Tyne from the south and the east coast railway line. It is 20 metres high and is one of the most seen sculptures in the world with an estimated 1 person per second seeing it or 33 million views per year.

Antony Gormley said about the sculpture, “People are always asking, why an angel? The only response I can give is that no-one has ever seen one and we need to keep imagining them.

Find out more about this famous artist and design your own Angel.

Key Stage:

KS2,3&4 Art and Design


A lesson plan inspired by The Angel of the North and the work of sculptor Antony Gormley
This lesson can be used:
-to develop drawing skills and use of sketchbooks to develop ideas
-to gain an understanding of the work of one of the most famous contemporary artists

The Artist and his approach

Internationally renowned sculptor Antony Gormley OBE has public sculpture in many countries across the world. Public work in Britain can be seen in locations as diverse as the crypt at Winchester Cathedral and Birmingham city centre. In 1994 he won the Turner Prize.
Gormley is interested in the human figure and much of his work explores the body. He often starts with a cast from his own body. He is not only interested the external shape of the body but also the internal space of body and mind.

Case for an Angel

In 2008 the maquette (model) for The Angel of the North was exhibited at The British Museum in London. This film shows Antony Gormley talking about the sculpture and the Museum which so inspired him as a child.

The Angel of the North reviewed by local young people

A group of students from Blyth find out about the famous sculpture on it's twentieth birthday. Watch their film here
<b>Angels in Art</b>

Angels in Art

Angels have appeared in works of art since early Christian art, and have been a popular subject for European paintings and sculpture. They are generally represented with wings. In the bible Gabriel is described as appearing in the "likeness of man” but there are many more representations in art of female angels.
<b>Angels in Art</b>

Angels in Art

This Angel is "The Angel of Flowing Light" by Cecil Collins, 1968, (image copyright Tate). We want you to now re-imagine an Angel for yourselves. Gormley produce the Angel OF the North, Collins produced the Angel OF Flowing Light so we want you to make a series of sketches for your Angel OF something. It can be anything you want. The Angel of Swansea, The Angel of Hartlepool, The Angel of War, The Angel of Peace, an Angel Flying, an Angel at the Bus Stop. It is entirely up to you to use your imagination and sketch how you see your Angel.
<b>Share and Evaluate</b>

Share and Evaluate

At some point as an artist you are going to have to share your ideas with others, otherwise you are just making work for yourself. Before you do that you should always self evaluate your work. Look back at the quick sketches of ideas for Angels. Choose the best one and do another drawing developing the idea further. Now is the time to share with a friend, a teacher or your class and get feedback on your idea. This can be tough but you might learn something that helps you improve.

Find out about more works by Antony Gormley

Field for the British Isles

Made in 1993 Field is an installation piece. The work is unusual the figures because completely occupy the space in which they are installed, filling the gallery so the audience can look at the figures, but cannot enter the gallery. We sent a group of young people to see the work when it was installed at Longside Gallery Wakefield.

The Making of Field for the British Isles

Field for the British Isles consists of approximately 35,000 individual terracotta figures. The figures were made by 100 volunteers from St Helens, Lancashire including school children. Each time it is displayed it takes a team of volunteers to set it out.

Another Place

Another Place is a sculpture of 100 casts iron figures modelled from Antony Gormley's own body. The sculpture is sited at Crosby Beach in Merseyside where the tide goes out a long way. The figures are covered by the sea at high tide. The sculptures are spread over two miles and all face out to sea.
This short film shows artist Trudi Entwhistle exploring the sculpture when it was first placed on the beach in 2007.

Development Activity:

On CultureStreet there are films and teaching resources about other famous sculptors including, Yinka Shonibare, Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash, Joan Miro and Juame Plensa

Learning Objectives:

Through using this lesson plan students should:
-Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
-learn about the history of art, craft, design and architecture, including periods, styles and major movements from ancient times up to the present day.
-use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks, journals and other media as a basis for exploring their ideas
-analyse and evaluate their own work, and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work. In addition know and understand how sources inspire the development of ideas. For example, drawing on: the work and approaches of artists, craftspeople or designers from contemporary and/or historical contexts, periods, societies and cultures

Research, Notes and Links:

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