Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 11:39 UK

Gormley sculptures in home town

There are about 40,000 figures all made from local clay

A spectacular sculpture installation featuring terracotta figures created by the artist Antony Gormley, is being exhibited in its Merseyside birthplace.

Field for the British Isles is one of Antony Gormley's best-loved works of art featuring 40,000 clay figures.

The figures were handmade by 100 volunteers aged seven to 70 in St Helens using local clay.

It will now be shown in a specially constructed installation in St Helens College until 23 August.

Winner of the 1994 Turner Prize, Antony Gormley is renowned for his distinctive representations of the human form.

Gormley has described Field as "25 tons of clay energised by fire, sensitised by touch and made conscious by being given eyes ... a field of gazes which looks at the observer making him or her its subject".

Anthony Gormley's installation Another Place is also on Crosby Beach in Merseyside.

Another Place
There are 100 cast iron figures looking out to sea on Crosby beach
In 1995 Field was purchased by the Arts Council Collection with the support of the Henry Moore Foundation and the National Art Collections Fund.

Since its acquisition Field has been seen by nearly 400,000 visitors around England and Wales.

Local councillor Richard Ferry said: "Field has special significance for St Helens having been crafted here 15 years ago by local people, so it is fantastic news that we have succeeded in bringing it back home at last.

"The fact that this internationally renowned artwork will be on display over the peak summer months of the year that neighbouring Liverpool is European Capital of Culture means that the exhibition will attract even greater numbers of visitors from the UK and abroad to the town centre than normal."

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