This installation across the beach was supposed to be a one-year affair. Its success convinced the local authorities to leave the work in situ which meaning it is available to be enjoyed for the foreseeable future. To describe this work, I like to tell the story of my pilgrimage to see it with my younger brother, Jacob. I actually had the privilege of telling the story to Sir Antony, and I think he liked it too.
I often use my family for travelling companions because they serve as good litmus tests for various demographics. My brother: young male, hipster, Londoner, discerning, not particularly interested in art (but willing to humour me). It was a very cold and windy day and we took the train from London to Blundellsands & Crosby stopping briefly in Liverpool to jack up on coffee.
My brother had no idea what we were going to see, just that it was a sculpture on a beach. He was tired, and slightly grumpy with me, having chosen such a cold day for the expedition. We walked up the sand dune separating the station from the sea and as we reached the top, shielding our faces from the sand and wind, I, knowing what I was looking at, exclaimed “oh how wonderful”. My brother looked at me, puzzled. I explained that the beach was empty – that there were no people on the shore. I saw how the people he saw suddenly froze to become the static sculptures that they really were. Once the shock of the uncanny drained from him, my brother ran up with a new burst of energy to the sculptures and we spent a good part of an hour walking amongst the lone figures, enjoying their presence as they stared into the horizon before retuning to Liverpool.