In June 2005, the artist Antony Gormley installed the first of 100 eerie, cast iron figures on Crosby Beach in Merseyside, modelled on the sculptor’s own body. Guardian photographer Don McPhee, who was based in Manchester, was there to capture the moment. Dotted over a nearly three km stretch of beach, the figures become by turns submerged and revealed by the ebb and flow of the tides. After being shown in Norway, Germany and Belgium, they were installed on Crosby Beach temporarily; but in 2007, the local council agreed for them to be on permanent show, where they remain today: rusting, barnacle-covered, but still staring at the horizon.
Words: Hannah Booth
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