Anthony Gormley, born in 1950, is the youngest of seven children born to a German mother and an Irish father. He grew up in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire in England. He studied archeology, anthropology and the history of art at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. He later went on to do a post graduate at Slade Fine School of Arts at University College, London.
Before long, he embarked on his passion for sculpture and when the ‘Angel of the North’ was being considered, it was Anthony who finally got the commission to create this wonderful piece of art. He using mainly the British lottery funding available totaling almost a million pounds,starting the project in 1994 and the Angel was finished in 1998.
It was built in three parts at the Hartlepool Steel Fabricating Company with the body weighing 100 tons and each wing weighing 50 tons. It’s placed at Gateshead, Tyne and Wear in the North of England. It stands 20 meters (65feet ) tall with a wing span of 54 meters (175feet). That’s bigger than a Boeing 757 jet! It weighs a massive total of 200 tons and contains enough steel to make four chieftain tanks. It has been built to withstand winds of over 100 miles an hour as it is so exposed on the hillside.
Below the Angel, there are huge concrete piles that go 20 meters into the ground to anchor it safely to the rock below. The weather resistant cor-ten steel used to build the Angel contains a small amount of copper which has formed a wonderful patina on the surface that mellows with age.
It is truly a magnificent sight and can be seen for many miles around the area and we are very lucky Anthony had such great vision for ‘The Angel of the North’.
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