Antony Gormley’s Time Horizon Set to Transform Houghton Hall’s Historic Landscape

Antony Gormley

Antony Gormley, a titan of contemporary art, is set to unveil his spectacular installation, Time Horizon, at Houghton Hall in Norfolk from April 21 to October 31, 2024. This marks the first UK staging of the monumental work.

The installation comprises 100 life-size cast-iron sculptures strategically placed across Houghton Hall’s 300-acre park, with some extending as far as 1.5 miles on West Avenue. Each sculpture, weighing a hefty 620kg and standing at an average height of 191cm, forms a unified horizontal plane across the expansive landscape. Gormley’s artistic ingenuity is evident as some sculptures emerge only partially visible, buried to different depths based on the park’s topography. Around 25% of the works are elevated on concrete columns, ranging from a few centimetres to four meters in height.

Renowned for his explorations of the human body’s relationship to space, Antony Gormley expressed his ambitions for Time Horizon: “Art has recently privileged the object rather than the experience that objects can initiate. Time Horizon is not a picture, it is a field and you are in it.”

Lord Cholmondeley, owner of Houghton Hall, conveyed his excitement about showcasing Gormley’s work in the UK for the first time. The extensive coverage of the 100 life-size sculptures expands beyond previous exhibitions, offering visitors a unique experience of the historic landscape surrounding the house.

Houghton Hall, built in 1722 by Sir Robert Walpole, Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, stands as a testament to Palladian architecture. The estate, now owned by the Cholmondeley family, opens its doors to the public and has become a hub for contemporary art exhibitions, including previous shows by renowned artists like Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, and Sean Scully.

The upcoming exhibition of Time Horizon aligns with Houghton Hall’s commitment to fostering contemporary art and follows previous showcases by prominent artists like James Turrell, Richard Long, and Henry Moore. This artistic legacy, coupled with the anticipated exhibition of Dame Magdalene Odundo’s ceramic and glass work later in the season, underscores Houghton Hall’s dedication to offering diverse and enriching cultural experiences.

As Houghton Hall continues to evolve as a hub for contemporary art, Antony Gormley’s Time Horizon promises to be a landmark exhibition, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the intersection of art, nature, and history.

Note: Houghton Hall’s legacy of exhibitions includes celebrated artists like Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, and Sean Scully, contributing to the site’s reputation as a prominent venue for contemporary art.

A celebration of contemporary art against the backdrop of the historic Houghton Hall in Norfolk, the 2024 programme promises to be a visual feast with major solo presentations by Antony Gormley and Magdalene Odundo. As the renowned house and its lush grounds continue to be a canvas for artistic exploration, these exhibitions follow in the footsteps of a prestigious lineup that included Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, and Sean Scully.

Antony Gormley: Time Horizon  Dates: Sunday 21 April – Thursday 31 October 2024 

Antony Gormley’s “Time Horizon” is set to captivate visitors from April to October 2024. A stunning large-scale installation, the exhibition will feature 100 life-size cast iron bodies strategically placed throughout the 200 acres of Houghton Hall’s parkland. These sculptures, installed at a uniform datum level, create a captivating interplay with the surrounding environment—trees, the historic house, deer, and other sculptures. Described by Gormley as a form of acupuncture, “Time Horizon” invites visitors to become part of a reflexive field, interacting with the ever-changing conditions of weather and surroundings. As one of the most important artists of his generation, Gormley’s work investigates the relationship between the human body and space, and “Time Horizon” promises to be a mesmerizing embodiment of this exploration.

Magdalene Odundo Houghton Hall
Magdalene Odundo

Magdalene Odundo Dates: Sunday 9 June – Sunday 29 September 2024 

Dame Magdalene Odundo, celebrated globally as one of the foremost ceramic artists, takes center stage at Houghton Hall from June to September 2024. Her exhibition promises an immersive experience with sculptures strategically placed in response to Houghton Hall’s state rooms. The great Stone Hall will host a group of new works, while early pieces engage in a dialogue with the William Kent-designed interiors. The exhibition also features a new commission born out of Odundo’s recent residency at Wedgwood, reflecting on the company’s history, Josiah Wedgwood’s role in the abolitionist movement, and the ongoing fight for racial equality. This marks Odundo’s first solo exhibition in the UK since her acclaimed 2019 survey, “The Journey of Things.”

Situated against the backdrop of Houghton Hall, built in 1722 by Sir Robert Walpole, the exhibition is a harmonious blend of contemporary art within a historic setting. The house, a stunning example of Palladian architecture, has been open to the public since 1976, offering a unique fusion of the old and the new. The Houghton Arts Foundation, led by Lord Cholmondeley, continues to enrich the collection with contemporary art, with the vision of making Houghton a focal point for experiencing the great art of our time in a historically significant environment.

As Antony Gormley and Magdalene Odundo take their place in this illustrious lineup, Houghton Hall reinforces its commitment to being a cultural hub, connecting art enthusiasts with masterpieces set against the timeless elegance of its surroundings.

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For more information and tickets, please visit Houghton Hall’s website.