‘The South London Gallery has been a catalyst for Peckham and Camberwell becoming the artistic hotspot that it now is. Thanks to Margot Heller’s energetic and inspiring leadership the gallery has gone from strength to strength. I am so excited by the possibility of it extending its inspiring influence at the Fire Station and wish it continued vitality in the years to come’ — A. Gormley
‘I use the construction language of the built world; pillars and lintels, to evoke the inner condition of the body, treating the body less as a thing than a place. There is a tension between a suggested symmetry and the actual articulation of a body, so that very slight variations in the alignment of the blocks can be read empathetically as an indication of the total body feeling. All of these pieces attempt to treat the body as a condition; being, not doing’ — A. Gormley
Based on a 3D scan of the artist’s own body, Antony Gormley’s Reserve II is a recent example of his cast Blockworks series: composed of subtly varied blocks of cast iron, the resulting figure is delicate yet monumental, solid yet dynamic, employing resonant structural poise to create an ‘architectonic language’ that articulates the internal and external human condition. As Gormley has elaborated on this series: ‘The cast Blockworks re-describe body volume in Euclidian terms, replacing the discrete function-based structures of anatomy with architectonic volumes that use the dynamics of stacking, cantilever and balance to achieve a stable structure that is still dynamic. Increasingly, the blocks have become more robust, often extending beyond the skin in an attempt to evoke particular feelings and tensions. The challenge is to find a way to employ this architectonic language to provoke empathetic feeling in the urban-bound viewer’ (A. Gormley, 2011). This drive for physical empathy lies at the heart of Gormley’s sculptural experience, creating a profound awareness in the viewer of the occupation of their own body and their place in space.