The piece is entitled 'Another Place' and consists of one hundred life size replicas of Gormley placed at intervals over three kilometres of the beach. As the tide ebbs and flows they are gradually revealed or submerged but retain their gaze out to sea. I'd heard various accounts from people - whatever time of day or night, whatever the weather is doing the effect is magical. What are they looking at? Opinions vary. Some think they are looking over to America and dreaming of golden opportunities. Others think it could be anywhere but here - the grass is always greener etc. I had high hopes. I imagined flouncing between an army of cast iron figures with endless photo opportunities and periods of meditation.
What I didn't expect was this.
The tide was in.
Choose a direction to walk in. Fifty fifty chance of getting it right. Right sounds right, right?
Off we go.
We started off along the beautiful grassy dunes.
And I was quite taken with this flower!
Then we cut down on to the beach.
It was cold. Sooo cold.
Have you ever seen a dog shiver?
I was fascinated by the amount of worn bricks and pottery that we found.
Later on we discovered that it was rubble from the blitz on Liverpool in World War Two. It had been collected to bolster the sea defences along the beach.
The tide receded further.
But still no figures.
I did get quite excited about this shell though and put it in my pocket 'to do something with'. It's still there.
We turned back toward the car and promised ourselves a large coffee as a reward.
Then we saw this.
Okay let's get closer.
Can you see it?
Right - I'm running up to investigate further.
Only one so far but what an impact.
We waited a little longer to see the others just starting to emerge from the sea.
But by now our stomachs were calling, our ears had numbed and even Jessie Dog was fading.
We had promised ourselves fish and chips at Southport for Sunday tea.
As we turned we noticed this bizarre image from where we had just been.
A huge fire in the dunes. How did that happen?
Okay it didn't turn out quite as I had expected but it was a memorable day nonetheless. I'm certainly going to go back and see the rest at some point but next time perhaps when it's a bit warmer - and the tide is out.
And remember - right isn't always right, right?
You can find out more about 'Another Place' here and there are some wonderful pictures of the blitz rubble here.