Friday, August 12, 2011

THE ANGEL OF THE NORTH...and me

The Angel of the North is a contemporary sculpture designed by Antony Gormley, which is located in Gateshead, England.

It is a steel sculpture of an angel, standing 20 metres (66 ft) tall, with wings measuring 54 metres (177 ft) across.[1] The wings themselves are not planar, but are angled 3.5º forward, which Gormley used to create "a sense of embrace".

It stands on a hill on the southern edge of Low Fell, overlooking the A1 and A167 roads into Tyneside, and the East Coast Main Line rail route, south of the site of Team Colliery.
The huge sculpture is impressive with its placement on a hill, which gives it even more height and visibility. Not all the English agreed with the original idea, nor do all like the finished product, but, to many, the Angel is now an icon of the North of England.

The proportions of the Angel, with the apparent lightness of the wingspread, which is more than twice the height of the tough steel structure, lend the sculpture an appearance of both grace and sturdiness which I admire.


Up close, the enormous size of the Angel is quite apparent, with just the lower leg dwarfing me.


I'm still there - the incredible shrinking woman.

 
A back view of the Angel from the motorway layby.

The picture and quote at head of the post are from Wikipedia.

UPDATE: Mrs MadPriest took the two photos of me near the statue. I thank MadPriest and Mrs MadPriest for their welcome and kindness to me during my stay in the Newcastle area, although it must have been inconvenient to have me hanging about in the days immediately preceding their house move. I offered to help pack boxes, but I wasn't allowed. At least, I had my own place to stay, so I was not underfoot ALL the time. On the very afternoon of the day they moved, MadPriest took time out to take me to the train station.

27 comments:

  1. That is really something. It really is huge, and though I'm not one who likes much modern art, I think it is quite beautiful.

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  2. Ciss, I'd not thought much about the Angel sculpture, whether I liked it or not, before I saw it up close, but once I did, I admired it.

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  3. Mrs MP and MP are incredibly kind to travelers.

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  4. Sounds as if MP and Mrs. MP are the real angels!

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  5. How does the angel fare in a windy storm? --I mean --around here that would be rather dangerous!!!

    Good on Mr & Mrs MP --the turmoil of moving is hair-raising! God bless 'em both. I think whiteycat is right!

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  6. Sounds as if MP and Mrs. MP are the real angels!

    They are.

    margaret, Wikipedia says:

    Due to its exposed location, the sculpture was built to withstand winds of over 100 mph (160 km/h). Thus, 600 tonnes of concrete were used to create foundations which anchor the sculpture to rock 70 feet (21 m) below.

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  7. I love Gormely and I remember how moved I was when I first saw the angel.
    With you underneath it, it's definitely a case of two angels in once place. Glad that the third angel, Cathy, was there to take the photo!

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  8. Erika, Cathy went back to work in London when I went North. Mrs MP took the picture.

    With you underneath it, it's definitely a case of two angels in once place.

    Not true, Erika, but I love that you say it. :-)

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  9. Ah! And we all know that Mrs MP is an angel. And a saint.

    So we're back with three :-)

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  10. I really like this. This is an angel I could believe in. Where did our idea of angels as poufy, Victorians with gossamer wings come from? If they were all sweet young ladies, why did they always begin any encounter with humans by uttering, "Fear not?"

    (P.S. Please forgive me. I know that there are at least two sentences above that end with a preposition.)

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  11. Due to its exposed location, the sculpture was built to withstand winds of over 100 mph (160 km/h).

    Margaret had my question. Gotta say: in post-Global Warming Britain, a limit of 100/mph may not be enough. Your "Katrina" will come, UK. Just sayin'.

    Have mixed feelings, from the photos. Need to see it up-close [Make checks payable to JCF at... ;-X]

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  12. BooCat, from the first pictures of the Angel, my feelings about it were mixed, but after seeing the sculpture in its real-life setting, both from a distance and up close, I like it quite a lot.

    JCF, the statue cam withstand winds of over 100 mph. Perhaps no one knows exactly how much over.

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  13. Erika and Susan are definitely angels :) And so is Mimi, without a doubt. There's a lot of angels about!

    I hope we won't be getting a Katrina anytime soon. The UK always has been a temperate climate, not prone to major disaster, and that will protect us for a while yet (fingers crossed).

    I never know what I think of Gormley's work. The statue is certainly impressive. I am not sure I think it is beautiful, but I'm not sure it's meant to be, either.

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  14. For I know that there are angels all around...

    Cathy, I don't know if beautiful is the right word, but I admire the sculpture.

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  15. 'Course you know the statue is in Gateshead and that across the river in Wallsend they call it the "Gateshead Flasher".

    I thought you ought to know, that's all.
    Regards, MikeN.

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  16. Mike, I know that not everyone in the area is in love with the angel, but I did not know of the 'fond' nickname. Thanks for the info.

    Do you live near the angel?

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  17. No, but my daughter now lives in Wallsend married to a native. He's a true Goerdie so speaks the local lingo and being an ex-Corporal of the Parachute Regiment enables us to go anywhere there with impunity. I'm pleased to say they're all Philistines, MikeN.

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  18. I'm pleased to say they're all Philistines...

    Well, that's good to know. ;-) Have you seen the picture I posted of the angel in the snow?

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  19. Well, they've just had plenty of snow up there, so it probably just like your picture.
    But rather than consorting with that pile of old scrap, the "Gateshead Flasher", you should have gone and knelt before, touched and kissed a REAL piece of art. Only a mile away is a true goddess - Turbinia! Never heard of Her? - shame on you! She transformed all shipping, power stations, and later even aircraft.
    I apologise for not hyperlinking yet, but please see http://user29269.vs.easily.co.uk/turbinia.htm
    (See the bit of Youtube embeded, too).
    I'm sure Grand-dad M would prefer it to yet another boring gothic cathedral!
    Regards, MikeN.

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  20. Mike, now you tell me, when I'm on the wrong side of the big pond! Grandpère, as he's fondly referred to here, would have been thrilled to see the piece of art. He is the director of a small wooden boat museum in Lockport, Louisiana. Their website is shit, if you will excuse the expression, but he and his helpers are working to build a better site.

    The museum houses various types of working boats from south Louisiana, both old boats and authentic reconstructions.

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  21. That museum, is it the "Center for Traditional Louisiana Boat Building" at Nicholls State University? (If it is, well, I can see you're a hard woman, but I must agree with you that the site could be, well, for informative?)
    Regards, MikeN.

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  22. Mike, it is the name you mention, but the Center has moved from Nicholls, also, the museum is still part of the university. I have great photos which will go on the new website. This link to the unorganized album may or may not work, depending on if I've made the pictures accessible to the public. I'm not sure, as I'm not all that tech savvy.

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  23. I meant 'although the museum is still part of the university'.

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