17 March 2012

Gormless to Gormley: Biking the Angel of the North, and other statues

I was in Newcastle this week, with bike, obviously. I like Newcastle, and the way it makes me feel so over-dressed and under-tattooed.

More about the Toon soon, but first, the Angel of the North (right). Antony Gormley's iconic statue is three miles or so south of the Tyne bridges, a straight cycle down the A167 Durham Road through Gateshead to Low Fell.

The cycle route is barely adequate - a mishmash of on- and off-road lanes and tracks - so it's quite a bit better than the rest of Newcastletynesagegateshead or whatever the marketeers call it these days.

There's a path up to the base of the Angel (right), and a splendid thing it is too. Heavier than you think, good-looking in a lumpy kind of way, and ageing gently in the northern rain, it reminds me a lot of me.

But it's not my favourite Gormley. At least, not for its bike-interactive possibilities.

I was very fond of the temporary statues - simulacra of the artist himself - that stood naked on and around Waterloo Bridge a few years ago.

We were very excited by their potential use as cycle parking (right).

But the top Gormley statue for cyclists, or non-cyclists, has to be Another Place (right) at Crosby (just off the Trans Pennine Trail).

I think it looks rather better with a bike in hand. It helps me relate to the statue that bit more. Especially as it's standing in a puddle looking lost.

1 comment:

  1. I tried the same pose. I struggle to wheel my bike across the sand, dodging massive deep puddles.... I thought, it will be worth it! It wasn't. I'll tweet you the picture!