Gormley sees the exhibition as a ‘test site’; engaging the senses, employing scale, darkness and light, and using elemental, organic and industrial materials. The works interact with the BeauxArts galleries, creating a series of distinct encounters that come together as a collective experience. It is a summation of Gormley’s enduring concern with the inner dark space of the body itself and the body’s relation to its surroundings: the body as space and the body in space. Gormley said, “there is no subject until the viewer arrives and begins to engage.”
The exhibition draws the visitor into a series of whole-room installations, some reconfigured especially for the RA’s galleries, and invites them to actively engage with their bodies as they navigate the space.
To mark the exhibition the Royal Academy has worked with the artist on a collection of specially selected and exclusively developed products where the hand, eye and personality of Gormley is evident and celebrated. Over a year in the making, the highly bespoke collection, developed in detail with the artist through conversation and collaboration, reflects the materials, ideas and ethos of his work. The collection is displayed in the RA’s destination store, Gallery X which has been transformed into a space for visitors to discover more about the background to the work.
Tickets to the exhibition are available daily at the RA or by visiting their website here.