Antony Gormley and Inside Australia
In 1995, Cyclone Bobby confirmed Lake Ballard’s place on the map of the natural world. In 2003, Antony Gormley, a Turner Prize-winning artist, gave it genuine global currency with the ‘unveiling’ of his INSIDE AUSTRALIA.
Invited by Sean Doran, then the Artistic Director of the Perth International Arts Festival, to make a work to celebrate the festival’s 50th anniversary in 2003, Gormley accepted the challenge, and later noted: “I just wanted somewhere with an absolutely flat, more or less 360 degree horizon. [I chose] the west of Lake Ballard, which is an extraordinary lake 70 miles long and 30 miles wide, with this sodium crust that makes everything stand out absolutely clearly. It’s an amazing place. It’s in the middle of what’s called the Yilgarn Craton, which is one of the oldest bits of the surface of the earth. It’s between 2.9 and 3.5 billion years old…”
In December 2002, after months of preparation, Gormley supervised the installation of 51 metal figures at Lake Ballard. It had been an extraordinary journey, superbly documented in the award-winning film Inside Australia (Thunderbox/Artemis International, 2004) and the book Antony Gormley Inside Australia (Thames & Hudson, 2005). We strongly recommend that you read the book and view the film.
It is not the purpose of this website to attempt to explain Gormley’s work. We just want as many visitors as possible to actually ‘get’ INSIDE AUSTRALIA at Lake Ballard – and respond to the work ‘in situ’. Experiencing the actual environment in which the work is placed (and, in turn, responds to) is vital. Neither photographs nor video imagery can replace what the human eye takes in at the moment of ‘experiencing’ – and how this becomes part of memory.
We urge you to hit the road and become an ‘Insider’.
About Antony Gormley
Gormley was born in the UK to a German mother and an Irish father in 1950. Raised as a Roman Catholic, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, before travelling to India and Sri Lanka, intent on exploring Buddhism. He later pursued art studies in London, including post-graduate studies in sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art.
His career as a solo artist began at London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1981. From the beginning, the primary component of Gormley’s work has been the human body, including representations of his own. Most frequently, these representations have been produced using metal alloys.
Arguably, Gormley’s most famous work is Angel of the North (completed 1998), but opinion is divided as to whether it’s his most significant work to date. He won the coveted Turner Prize in 1994.