The Three Mysterious Statues of Kent, England

One of the creepy Kent statues made by Antony Gormely.
One of the creepy Kent statues made by Antony Gormely. Credit: Fiona in Eden. CC BY 2.0/flickr

The popular artist behind the famous Angel of the North statue in the UK is also responsible for three creepy statues in Kent that can only be seen for a few hours each day.

The mysterious Kent statues

The eerie statues, created by Antony Gormely, can be seen in Kent, England. The first and particularly terrifying statue was installed on Margate’s Fulsam Beach in 2017, making up part of Gormley’s “Another Time” series. This worldwide art project saw 100 statues placed around the globe.

For those who want to view the cast-iron figure, it is worth bearing in mind that the tide is the key, being that this lone statue only becomes visible when the tide is low, and is completely submerged when the tide is high.

The statue of “Another Time” in Margate can be found near the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery. It was placed there in partnership with them. Two extra figures from the art series can also be found in nearby Folkestone, having been installed there as part of The Creative Folkestone Triennial in 2017.

One of the figures can be seen within the arches of the Coronation Parade at Sunny Sands Beach, while the other is located at the loading bay of Folkestone Harbor Arm. Not unlike the Fulsam Rock statue, the visibility of these other figures relies on tidal change.

Molded from a cast of the artist’s own body, the figures were crafted to “bear witness to what it is like to be alive and alone in space and time” and to “celebrate the still and silent nature of sculpture. The work is designed to be placed within the flow of lived time.”

The statues in Kent have been variously described as “haunting” and “mysterious” by a few visitors, as per the Daily Express. The newspaper reported that an Anton Smith wrote about the statue on TripAdvisor, saying:

“Really good Antony Gormley statue on the beach behind the Turner Gallery. The usual Gormley figure but completely alone (unlike the army on Crosby Beach near Liverpool) stoically getting drowned and uncovered twice a day, [and] covered in goodness knows what at the end of the seaweed-covered breakwater.”

Smith added: “Surprisingly haunting and emotive. Definitely worth searching out if you are ‘doing arty’ or just love Gormley’s work while in Margate, but check tide times to avoid disappointment.”

Kent plays host to several underwater and coastal figures, with one example being Alluvia, by Jason de Caires Taylor, located in Canterbury. These statues, made of cast cement and glass resin, depict two women and are fitted to the bed of the River Stour. Their visibility varies with the time of day and weather conditions.

One more noteworthy coastal statue is the Folkestone Mermaid, which, despite its name, does not depict a mermaid but, rather, a woman sat on the beach’s rocks looking out to sea.

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