Angry locals slam 'hideous' Antony Gormley Wells Cathedral sculpture

Angry locals hit out at ‘hideous’ Antony Gormley sculpture as it is installed on front of 14th century Wells Cathedral

  • The sculpture is by the artist behind the Angel of the North monument
  • But it has been met with some hostility from locals who do not like it
  • One described the Wells Cathedral art as ‘hideous’ and ‘not his better work’ 

A sculpture by artist Sir Antony Gormley entitled ‘Doubt’ placed in front of a cathedral has also left locals unsure, with one branding it ‘hideous’.

The cast iron creation was been put at Wells Cathedral in Somerset until February 2023 after businesses raised nearly £2,000 to transport it.

Sir Antony – best known for his Angel of the North – says it is an appropriate place for it because faith sometimes includes feelings of doubt.

But some locals have been left less than thrilled with the metal art, opining it ‘not amongst his better work’.

The cast iron creation was been put at Wells Cathedral in Somerset until February 2023

It was transported to Somerset after local businesses raised nearly £2,000 for the costs

One local seemed particularly unimpressed, calling the statue ‘not among his better work’

And even Chancellor Rob James, of Wells cathedral, even admitted it had divided local opinion.

He said: ‘Whenever you touch an old building that will cause some negative reactions, some people love the form of the sculpture, some people don’t.

‘Doubt is not the opposite of faith, it is part of somebody’s faith journey,’ he added to the BBC.

Jerry Arron said: ‘In total agreement with the concept of contemporary art being used in vacant historic sites. But for me, it’s not amongst his better work.’

Sir Antony Gormley poses with his new installation Look II back in September 22, 2020

Locals in Wells were not all thrilled with the new artwork outside their historic cathedral

David Pulsford thought it ‘Out of place on a cathedral’ while a Twitter user called GlastoHawk simply said ‘hideous’.

The statue has been put onto a specially constructed plinth to make sure it does not damage any of the historic cathedral.

It has been described as a body that has collapsed into itself, with Sir Anthony adding ‘The head juts out enquiringly into space at large.’

He said: ‘I am very aware of the paradox of placing an object called DOUBT on the facade of a building devoted to belief. But it seems to me that doubting, interrogating, questioning, are all part of belief.

‘For me, doubt can be a positive force and the imaginative engine of future possibility. I am interested in conversations in and about time – and in art as a continuum that bring history to now.

‘I have chosen this niche outside Wells Cathedral for its exposed position and visibility: the book at the end of the bookshelf.’

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