Sir Antony Gormley!

We have been creating amazing artwork based on some of Sir Antony Gormley's sculptures. We then sent an email to him with our questions, comments and photos of our artwork. His friend, Alice O'Reilly, replied the same day to tell us that Antony was away but would reply when he got back.
Then we went into lockdown and couldn't complete our topic. After a few weeks, Antony Gormley replied! Please enjoy the emails, photos and the incredibly detailed response we received to answer the children's questions :)

Dear Antony,


I am a Year 2 teacher at a school in Soham. We have been learning about your work since Christmas. I am writing this email with my class. Here are some of their questions/comments:

Cayden – I loved the stone which you grasped (Grasp).

Levi – I like the cast of your baby daughter.

James – What did you make first?

Henry – What are you working on now?

Braydon – You’re so smart!

Rosie – I can’t believe how many figures were in Field!

Maci – How did you make the bread person?

Ava – How many people helped you make Field?

Riley – How did you make the block figures?

Annabel – Is art fun?

Morgan – How did you make the Angel of the North?

Macey – How did you make yourself out of clay?


The following comments are based on some of their experiences when responding to your work (I have attached some photos):


Justin – We used plasticine to make 3D shapes which we then grasped to make a lasting human impression.

Louis – The next week, we held fruit and drew round our grasp. Then we pushed cloves in.

We then left them for a few weeks to observe changes. According to one of our cleaners it smelt nice!


Cayden – We looked at Slabworks, then we practised our poses.

Theo – We made some figures using Jenga blocks, based on Slabworks.

Riley – When we had finished we took a photo.


James – We used clay which we rolled into a smooth shape, then made a head and used a pencil to poke eyes on it.

Harriet – We made our own clay figures which we have put in a courtyard at school.

When we returned from our half term break, we looked at our Field exhibition and noticed how the elements (including Storm Dennis) had altered them.


Next half term we will be basing our work on Another Place & Sleeping Place (the children will experience making casts of their hands using Modroc and staying very still), Reflection (using oil/wax and experimenting with lightening the tones of a colour wash using white), Floor & Exercise Between Blood and Earth (practising their control when drawing lines), Full Bowl (forming interesting shapes using rolled plasticine), and The Angel of the North (using rolled up newspaper and investigating how to make something with such a large span stand up).


The children have been astonished that a famous artist is alive and have been enthusiastic about all of the work they have looked at so far. They are very excited that we are emailing you! I hope you don’t mind.


Best wishes,

Lara, Emmanuel Class and Downing Class

Dear Lara,


Antony’s away at the moment so I just wanted to let you know that your email has been safely received.


At the studio this Christmas we made orange and clove decorations but none of us had the thought to make versions of GRASP, we’re all very impressed that your class is so ahead of us!


Antony will respond soon but in the meantime thank you very much indeed for getting in touch.


With warm wishes, Alice

Dear Lara,


I hope you’re managing to use this time off to do stuff that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. I’ve just been spending more time in the garden and repairing works that I haven’t been able to attend to for far too long.


Thanks for sending us all the images and tales about what you have been doing .


My friend and helper Alice will answer some of the children’s questions but I just wanted to say thank you for using my work so well to encourage your children to explore the world and their relationship to it.


All those photos of colourful grasps domino blockworks and melting fields in the East Anglian rain are heart-warming to see.


I have asked Alice to send you my book on sculpture.