When you listen to Antony talk you quickly realize he’s not interested in the commission for his next work. He exudes monk-like qualities, serious, introspective and spiritual. He’s a deep thinker - curious and intellectual, creating a sense of intensity and gravity as he speaks about his works. You don’t imagine him appearing on a talk show exchanging banter...but rather chanting in a Benedictine Abbey. His works focus on the human form extending into the ethereal through the use of landscape, scale and abstraction. Often placed in the environment rather than galleries, they speak of community, humanity, and society - of our shared human experience.
“I would say that the whole way that I have approached the body is as a space, not a thing - not an object to be improved, idealized or whatever, but simply to be dwelt in”. AG
Antony was born 30 August, 1950 to a German mother and a father of Irish descent. The youngest of seven children, he was raised Catholic, attending a Benedictine boarding school in Yorkshire. He then studied archaeology, anthropology and the history of art at Trinity College, Cambridge. After attending Saint Martin's School of Art and Goldsmiths in London from 1974, he completed his studies with a postgraduate course in sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London in 1979.
Antony accepted an invitation to participate in the 50th anniversary of the Perth international arts festival in 2003. As a context for his work, he wanted somewhere with an absolutely flat, more or less 360 degree horizon and chose the west of Lake Ballard. The white sands make everything stand out clearly. He invited locals to participate in the project - they had to strip off and have their bodies scanned. The scans were then morphed using an algorithm to create abstract human forms. These were then cast in steel and placed in the lake. A local indigenous woman commented after seeing the work, “this is us”.
Images of Inside Australia can be seen in this link - https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBAU791AU791&sxsrf=ALeKk00EFR6H0Gu9c_mTHyvk4BxP05w8vA:1592687478206&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=lake+ballard+sculptures&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwipq4Gbp5HqAhUY4zgGHWq3DMQQsAR6BAgFEAE&biw=1366&bih=608
“I have to say that I reject somewhat the distinction between something called art and something called public art. I think all art demands and desires to be seen”. AG
|By Picnicin - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46821518|
“I think critics are very useful. But I think that they, in a way, betray their position when they stop people looking for themselves”. AG
“you have become consciousness without an object - freed from the dimensionful and measured way in which life links us to the obligatory”.
|By Oosoom at English Wikipedia - |
Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41444568
“For me art is not about objects of high monetary exchange. It’s about re-asserting our first-hand experience in present time. As John Cage said, we are not moving toward some kind of goal, we are at the goal and it is changing with us. If art has any purpose it is to open our eyes to that fact”.