Crosby is a residential area just north of Liverpool. It serves as a dormitory town for Liverpool, having excellent rail and road connections to the city. Today, we’ve called here to visit the beach. Crosby lies outside the mouth of the Mersey and has an extensive sandy beach backed by golden dunes. Standing on the beach, the ever present view of the giant cranes of the Port of Liverpool remind us of our proximity to heavy, industrial lands. With the warm sun shining, it would be easy to close our eyes and imagine that we are in another place.
We open our eyes and find that we are indeed in Another Place!
Scattered around the beach in apparent random fashion are around 100 life size figures. Iron castings of a naked human body, buried into the sand. Some buried up to their chests and some standing slightly higher, all facing out to sea. The figures form the sculptor Antony Gormley’s work called Another Place. The figures are created in cast iron, from moulds of the sculptor himself. They stand on columns which are embedded in the sand. Another Place is a permanent feature of the beach at Crosby, having been in place for well over ten years. The figures are intended to become worn and weathered with the passage of time. Like many people, I sometimes struggle to understand artworks, but in this case, I do think it is quite easy for anyone to spend a few minutes in Another Place and to grasp the thoughtfulness that the work can inspire. The figures are all facing out to sea, what are they looking towards? Ireland? America? The new beginnings that many people left Liverpool for in years gone by?
Like many people, The Grand Tourist doesn’t always “understand” sculpture. However, sculpture is often great fun and makes for great photography subjects! Antony Gormley is one of the worlds most renowned sculptors. Whilst touring, we have come across other works by him. One which is familiar to many people is The Angel of The North.
Whatever your thoughts, it becomes irresistible to approach as many figures as possible, to run between them and to “dress” them for fun photographs. If you do decide to try to approach each one of the 100 figures, be aware, they are spread over a 2 mile stretch of the beach, so it’s gonna be quite a long walk back!
There are three points at which it is easy to visit Another Place from. The most southern and most northern ends of Another Place are well signposted on nearby roads.
The Southern most point is near Marine Lake, Crosby Coastal Park. There is plentiful car parking, (free of charge when we visited) with good facilities nearby including a Bistro, cafe and snack kiosk. There is a moderate walk to the beach at the far side of the lake.
Nearby postcode for sat-nav is L22 1RR
The northern most point is near the Coastguard building. There’s plentiful car parking (again free when we visited) and variable facilities including a WC block and mobile snack bar. Here, the car parking looks straight over the beach. We would guess that it could be very atmospheric to watch the figures become gradually submerged by the tide on bad weather days, from the comfort of your car!
Nearby postcode for sat-nav is L23 8SY
There’s a third, less prominent access point to the beach at the side of Crosby Leisure Centre. Again, there is plentiful parking, (free when we visited) and easy access on foot to the beach. This is our favourite place to visit Another Place from. The adjacent Leisure Centre has some facilities when open.
Nearby postcode for sat-nav is L23 6SX