I watched a channel 4 programme about Antony Gormley yesterday, which was both moving and inspiring. If yoy live in the UK and have digital or cable I would highly reccomend watching it.
It was a breath of fresh air to see a hugely famous artist who is still so involved in his work and not ruled by his ego.
The crew had filmed Gormley as he designed and worked for his current show at The Heywood Gallery. It was fascinating to see a project from beginning to end - the process to make the figures from huge metal cubes was amazing and Gormley was fully involved every step of the way. Starting by casting his own crouched body in plaster.
What was also fascinating was the painstaking creation of a cloud chamber and Gormley's reaction when it finally worked. When his dream finally came to fruition he had tears in his eyes. It was incredibly moving to see someone who believed so wholeheartedly in what he was doing and such a contrast to the programme I saw featuring Damien Hirst a few weeks ago. Hirst came across as quite a different character - arrogant, full of himself and quite removed from the work that his assistants were making. He would breeze into the studio for a while in the morning offering a few words of advice here and there, whereas Gormley was in the studio working at all hours and becoming increasingly frustrated by outside distractions like telephone calls.
I have long been a fan of Gormley's work - I especially liked Field for the British Isles (pictured above) and am hoping that I will get to see his new exhibition "Blind Light" before it finishes in August.