Antony Gormley Gives Red Light To Green Angel

It was widely reported in the London papers this morning that the Angel of the North would be illuminated with a green hue in honour of St Patrick’s day, today. This was an event organized to simultaneously highlight other landmarks, including Battersea power station, Nelson’s monument in Edinburgh and the London Eye, by Tourism Ireland. However the sculpture’s creator, Antony Gormley put a stop to the festivities after lighting experts illuminated the sculpture for a few hours yesterday. A clause forbidding the lighting to his work was in his original contract drawn up with Gateshead council in 1994. This was initiated to disallow commercial projections on the work. Gormley has never allowed the sculpture to be spot lit at night and green is  completely unsuitable, the artist stated. “When you think of the mining that was done underneath the site, there is a poetic resonance. Men worked beneath the surface in the dark. Now in the light, there is a celebration of this industry”. Since spreading its wings in February 1998 Antony Gormley’s The Angel of the North has become one of the most talked about pieces of public art ever produced in the UK. Rising 20 meters from the earth near the A1 in Gateshead, the Angel dominates the skyline, dwarfing all those who come to look.  It was fashioned from 200 tonnes of steel and has a wingspan of 54 metres.Antony Gormley OBE, who was born in 1950, is at the forefront of a generation of celebrated younger British artists who emerged during the 1980s. He has exhibited work around the world and has major public works in the USA, Japan, Australia, Norway and Eire. Public work in Britain can be seen in locations as diverse as the crypt at Winchester Cathedral and Birmingham city centre. In 1994 he won the prestigious Turner Prize and in 1997 was awarded the OBE for services to sculpture. He has exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Gallery, British Museum and the Henry Moore Sculpture Gallery in Leeds.