Antony Gormley: Doubt

Antony Gormley: Doubt

In conjunction with Project Factory CIC, Wells Cathedral has collaborated with Antony Gormley to produce a new work that is being exhibited on the West Front of the Cathedral. The piece is being loaned by the Artist and has been on display since the end of August 2021.



August 2021

Wells Cathedral is thrilled to be collaborating with Antony Gormley to produce a new work that will be exhibited on the West Front of the Cathedral.
Cast in iron, the work is just over life-size and will occupy an empty niche below the North-West tower. The West Front of the Cathedral exhibits many renditions of the human form; from Old Testament stories to resurrection; kings and bishops to angels and apostles. Of the work Gormley has said, “I have chosen this niche for its position and its visibility: the book at the end of the bookshelf. I have used the orthogonal geometry of our modern habitat to evoke the body as a place rather than as a carrier of narrative illustrated by appearance and attribute. The work attempts to invoke the feeling of being isolated and exposed on this corner of a Gothic masterpiece. My purpose is to engage the eye and body of the viewer in empathic projection, to consider our time in the shelter of other times”

“I have chosen this niche for its position and its visibility: the book at the end of the bookshelf”

Antony Gormley

“The West Front of Wells Cathedral is one of the wonders of medieval architecture – a triumph of statuary and design.  And now is to be added, for a period, a piece by one our greatest contemporary sculptors, Antony Gormley.  Medieval and modern, ancient, and contemporary. Will we see contrast or complementarity?  Come and see, then decide!”

The Very Reverend Dr John Davies, Dean of Wells


Fundraising and community involvement will be coordinated by Project Factory CIC in Wells. Emma Lefevre, for Project Factory CIC, said “This is a wonderful opportunity for the people of Wells to come together to make it happen. We look forward to working with Wells Cathedral to bring to fruition this great work by Antony Gormley”.


Bringing the Gormley to Wells…

The Gormley piece will weigh in at around 730kg of cast iron, and help from many specialists is required to make sure it is transported and installed correctly.

The first milestone is £15,000 to cover the cost of transportation, installation and security, with an overall aim of £85,000 to help achieve the following:

  • increased tourist footfall,

  • educational and cultural opportunities and

  • events for local people & visitors.

If you would like to help bring this piece to Wells, please click here.

About the Artist:

Antony Gormley is widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations and public artworks that investigate the relationship of the human body to space. His work has developed the potential opened up by sculpture since the 1960s through a critical engagement with both his own body and those of others in a way that confronts fundamental questions of where human beings stand in relation to nature and the cosmos. Gormley continually tries to identify the space of art as a place of becoming in which new behaviours, thoughts and feelings can arise.

Gormley’s work has been widely exhibited throughout the UK and internationally with exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2019); Delos, Greece (2019); Uffizi Gallery, Florence (2019); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2019); Long Museum, Shanghai (2017); National Portrait Gallery, London (2016); Forte di Belvedere, Florence (2015); Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (2014); Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia (2012); Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2012); The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (2011); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2010); Hayward Gallery, London (2007); Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (1993) and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (1989). Permanent public works include the ‘Angel of the North’ (Gateshead, England), ‘Another Place’ (Crosby Beach, England), ‘Inside Australia’ (Lake Ballard, Western Australia), ‘Exposure’ (Lelystad, The Netherlands) and ‘Chord’ (MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA).

Antony Gormley, Photograph by Lars Gundersen

Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999, the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture in 2007, the Obayashi Prize in 2012 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2013. In 1997 he was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) and was made a knight in the New Year’s Honours list in 2014. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an Honorary Doctor of the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity and Jesus Colleges, Cambridge. Gormley has been a Royal Academician since 2003.

Antony Gormley was born in London in 1950.

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