Antony Gormley

BREAD WORKS, 1979 - 1982

BED started as a drawing. I lay on the floor and my wife drew around me. I made this silhouette into a contour map, making an approximation of the volume of my body divided into two identical halves, mirror images of each other.

The piece is roughly the same size as a king-sized double bed. I began a programme of eating that lasted three-and-a-half months, during which I ate my own volume in bread.

Before I began using my teeth I had been using bread to make marquetry collages within the crust of a slice. BREAD LINE is a loaf of bread laid out one bite at a time, taking a common object which is close to life and presenting it in the way in which we experience it. I used the most commonly bought processed white bread in Britain: 'Mother's Pride'.

Bread and settled human life go together. BREAD LINE is a measuring of life, the distance we go, the distance we travel in a body, a moment at a time. Bites of bread laid out on the floor, footprints in the snow, bites in bread, traces in time.

At the same time I was making simple silhouette pieces from a single thickness of bread pieces stuck on the wall. CONSUMPTION was a play on the Assumption, and a materialised reversal of transubstantiation. MOTHER'S PRIDE imposes the memory of the foetal body on a manufactured life-supporting material. MAN MADE is a late-20th-century version of Mantegna's dead Christ.

Sculpture has traditionally been about imposing mind over matter by an act of intelligence and will. I was looking for a more natural process, and eating is the primal process by which matter is transformed into mind.

Download text
DISK, 1979

DISK, 1979
Bread
Diameter: 330 mm x 8 mm high

BREAD LINE

BREAD LINE, 1979
Bread, 1 x 1500 x 3 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

BED

BED, 1980
Bread and wax, 28 x 220 x 168 cm
Tate Collection, London, England

CONSUMPTION

CONSUMPTION, 1982
Bread and wax
261 x 169 x 1.6 cm

SOUL

SOUL, 1982
Bread and wax
20 x 90 x 1.6 cm

MOTHER’S PRIDE

MOTHER’S PRIDE, 1982
Bread and wax
285.5 x 230 x 1.6 cm
Collection of Museum Wurth, Künzelsau, Germany

MAN MADE, 1982

MAN MADE, 1982
Bread and wax
192 x 286 x 1.6 cm

MOTHER'S PRIDE II, 1992

MOTHER'S PRIDE II, 1992
Bread, wax
285.5 x 230 x 1.6 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

MOTHER'S PRIDE III, 2007

MOTHER'S PRIDE III, 2007
Bread and wax
285.5 x 230 x 1.6 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

BREAD ROOM, 2008

BREAD ROOM, 2008
Bread and wax, 9.46 x 11.02 x 4.93 m (internal measurements of gallery 3 at MARCO, Monterrey), Installation view, MARCO, Monterrey, Mexico, 2008
Photograph by Roberto Ortiz, Monterrey, Mexico