Angel of the North celebrates 25 years
15 February 2023 marks exactly 25 years since the Angel of the North (1998) was erected in Gateshead, England. Celebrating the sculpture’s lasting impact and legacy, Antony Gormley has said:
‘I am thrilled to mark the Angel of the North’s first quarter-century and to celebrate the amazing spirit of the northeast that it so proudly evokes. In the coming years I am excited to see how the landscaping of the surrounding site progresses, working to reveal the Angel and the tumulus on which it stands and which marks such a significant place in the history of the Lower Team Valley. I hope that the precious relationship between visitor, Angel and site will be celebrated and restored.
The Angel of the North is a sculpture made by collective energy, a focus for collective hope, made with skills evolved over hundreds of years in the northeast of England; it has no arms to make, touch or feel, but all-embracing wings. The Angel stands on a mound made from the remains of the pit head buildings. Beneath it are the infilled seams where men laboured in harsh conditions for 200 years to provide the fossil foundation of the Industrial Revolution. The Angel of the North is a transitional object, bridging the industrial and information ages. It is animated by its visitors, whose scale is put into dramatic contrast with a sculpture that is ten times life-size. When moving bodies are seen in silhouette between wing and mound they make the work vital. I am touched by the fact that in daylight hours the Angel is rarely alone.’
Photograph: Angel of the North, 1998, steel, 2000 × 5400 × 220 cm. Photography by Jerry Hardman-Jones.