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  • Paul Hollywell

Art & Coaching

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Dear Mr Gormley,

A few weeks ago, I went with my daughter to see your exhibition at the Royal Academy (RA) of Arts in London. To be honest, I’m normally not a great fan of modern art and tend to prefer the ‘classics’. But as an engineer I really admire some of your sculptures … like Angel of the North; the huge amount of steel and engineering expertise that was needed to create that one. How do you make your cast-iron ‘bodies’ hang so effortless from the walls and ceiling of the RA?

Antony Gormley, Lost Horizon I, 2008 24 cast iron bodyforms © the Artist. Photo: David Parry / © Royal Academy of Arts

How did you get the RA to allow you to bring nearly 9,000 gallons of seawater over a layer of light brown clay into one of their galleries? I admired the way you captured the essence of the human form by using just a few steel blocks. Your work certainly does help people to see what is essential and what is superfluous when it comes to representing the human form.

I suppose what you do as an artist is similar to what I sometimes do as a coach. It is about helping a person understand better what they believe is really important to them and what are just less important diversions and distractions. What are their core values? What do they need to do to align their everyday life decisions with their values, so they can feel at peace with their choices and have the commitment and energy to face the outcomes? The result being a more successful, balanced and fulfilling life.

Thank you for the exhibition at the RA. In the end, I really enjoyed modern art.

Art and coaching; who would have thought they had something so significant in common?


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