The exhibition begins with a life-size work from Gormley’s series of bodycases, Bridge (1985), in the front gallery space. This is one of the earliest works made from a plaster mould of the artist’s body, strengthened with fibreglass and encased in a skin of lead. Gormley sees Bridge as an objective mapping of the subjective space of the human body. The visible soldering lines on its surface form clear horizontal and vertical axes: the body is treated as the location of physical and spatial experience. Bridge is presented alongside the wall relief Mother’s Pride IV (1982, remade in 2012), in which an impression of the artist’s body in the foetal position has literally been eaten out of a tightly packed grid of slices of industrially-produced ‘Mother’s Pride’ white bread. Also on view alongside these works is Scaffold (2015), a recent work in which Gormley has translated the grid of horizontal and vertical lines of Bridge into a free-standing three-dimensional mapping of the internal volumes of the body. Together these three works propose that we consider the body less as an object and more as a site and agent of transformation.
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