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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Gormley unveils metal model nudes
Sculptor Antony Gormley has unveiled his latest creation based on the plaster cast bodies of 240 volunteers at the Baltic Arts Centre in Gateshead.
Domain Fields
Gormley is pleased with his finished product

For his latest project Gormley took moulds of a cross-section of naked people from the ages of two to 85 to act as the base for hundreds of metal sculptures.

The exhibition, entitled Domain Field, gets its first viewing on Thursday, and opens to the public on Saturday.

Send us your views on the metal sculptures

The moulds were used as the foundation for Gormley to then produce metal sculptures from thin stainless steels strips which will fill an entire floor of the gallery.

"They have been welded together to create 'T' patterns to create what I call a random matrix within the volume of the mould of each person," the artist told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"Its kind of like an energy field or a kind of electricity that is created by these trajectories."

Allotment II
Allotment II is another Gormley work on show
Gormley, best known for his giant Angel of the North sculpture, is pleased with the way the project has turned out.

"I was a bit worried that they were going to be a bit heavy and certainly after we had welded them they were covered in soot that is a by-product of welding," he said.

"But we sent them to Birmingham to be pickled in acid and they have come back very bright and sparkly."

Gormley said he is not yet sure what he has created or what it means but called it an "extraordinary evocation of energy".

Skin and bone

Although the volunteers who posed for the original casts may struggle to identify themselves in the mass of metal structures, Gormley says that using the models was vital.

"What I think these works do is they abstract from the body the attitude that life writes a story in the language of our bodies, which is the language before spoken language and that attitude is what I have abstracted from blood, skin, bone and muscle and it is presented in a completely new way."

Antony Gormley with moulds for Domain Field
Gormley used volunteers of all ages for the moulds
One volunteer, Jo Curry, was preparing to see the finished result of her sitting for Gormley.

She told the Today programme that she could not pass up the opportunity to sit for such an acclaimed sculptor.

She said "On another level I thought it would be an absolute giggle. You're never normally get asked on a Tuesday morning to get stripped off and covered in cling film and then get plastered."

Volunteer Kevin Cheetham, 46, from Wallsend, said he thought Mr Gormley's works would help to break down prejudices against modern art, featuring as they do ordinary people.

He added: "That's what makes it very, very appealing, because it is ordinary people and it is people from varying backgrounds."

Another volunteer, Cyril Collins, 74, said: "It was nice to be part of this scheme and I shall boast to friends and family for many years. I was born in Gateshead and wanted to remain part of a city."

Serena Capocci, seven, another volunteer, said: "I did it because it was a very famous and fun thing to do. When I grow up I can think back and remember what it felt like being turned into a sculpture."

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Fantastic, I missed out on becoming a model myself by about a day. I can't wait to go to the Baltic and see them all.
Phoebe, Newcastle

Another fantastic piece from Gormley. I visited the Baltic in April and they were preparing the space to contain the work and a finished examples was already standing. Almost everyone that I know has already come to love and take pride in the Angel of the North - remember the giant Alan Shearer shirt shot over its shoulders by a bow and arrow to celebrate Newcastle in the FA Cup final? (Shame that the police felt the need to take that down - the council should have arranged it themselves). Gormley is an intellectual that produces works that appeal to everybody and as such is an example to almost every other modern artist.
Pip, UK

Quite beautiful.
Mike Mcloughlin, UK

It's ironic how so much of the media describes how gormley has created this work, when the fact is, though the concept is his, he never actually carried out any of the work himself!
Ian Hutchings, UK

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The BBC's Rosie Millard
"Anthony Gormley was already popular here thanks to his Angel of the North sculpture"

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