Gormley’s Liffey sculpture gets 10 year planning permission

Antony Gormley Dublin SculptureThe Irish Times reports that Antony Gormley’s Dublin Docklands vision has been granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála. There is a caveat. Permission has only been granted for the 46.2m high steel-lattice figure for 10 years, after which further planning permission will be required if it is to stay in place. Which might be suitably cautious.. or it might risk running into the same problem of Another Place.. From the Irish Times report

“The condition, highly unusual in relation to sculptures or statues, is frequently used in relation to quarries or mobile phone masts, on the basis that technology or the surrounding physical conditions may change over a 10-year period, making the structure inappropriate or obsolete. In relation to the Liffey sculpture, the 10-year limit is being imposed to allow the impact of such a tall structure to be reassessed, and to see if it continues to fit in with its surroundings.”

Update Dublin Docklands Authority says, Thanks, but.. “given the current economic environment, the Docklands Authority will not be proceeding with this development.”

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  • Nomad

    Seems pretty sensible! Could look tacky in a decade..

    (Especially if Dublin lies in ruins after the 2013 surpression. [That’s MUCH worse than a depression*])

    *Disclaimer: May be a made up term.

  • Waste of money.

  • Dave

    If the late Sam Stephenson was a sculptor, he’d have been Antony Gormley. Both are vandals who designed monuments to ego and vulgarity in collusion with city planners.

  • An Amateur Anthropologist

    Superficially, you might describe Another Place as egotistical, but vulgar it is not. Neither is the Angel of the North, unless one has a particular religious objection to the representation of angels per sé .

    Both the Angels and Gormey’s men at Crosby function well as public, communal art, and change with the seasons and the years. There are lessons to be learned from the decision to permanently site “Another Place” on Crosby beach, but 10-year planning permission for Dublin docklands would seem to be appropriate. They’re massive regeneration tools as well (a secondary consideration to their artistic greatness), and the Dublin authorities will be well aware of that.

  • Nomad

    Agreed, AAA. I think it looks pretty impressive. Something ominous and otherworldly about it. It should sit well in a vibrant city like Dublin.

  • Dave

    The Angel of the North is a shameful waste of concrete, steel, money, and the sweat of the labourers who erected the blight on the landscape. That act of environmental vandalism has as much artistic merit as a 54 metre upturned chair leg. These gimmicks lose their appeal after five seconds of beholding them, appearing thereafter as a vulgar as they actually are.

  • Rory Carr

    The tentative beginning sketches of an American juvenile cartoonist teasing out his concept for a superhero such as Spiderman or Green Lantern is plagiarised (becomes the inspiration?) for a structure of momentary, “Bloody ‘ell! Wot’s that?”.

    Not so much a sense of awe, but rather a more prosaic sense of “Bloody ‘ell! Wot’s that?”. Again.

    Ten seconds was enough. Ten minutes too, too much and ten years unbloodyendurable, mate!

    Anyway, Michaelangelo’s tears will surely rust it to tatters which might then imprint some value of the soul upon the wretched bloody thing.

  • Pete Baker


    Angel of the North a “blight on the landscape”? Well, it’s an opinion I suppose..


    Do you think Another Place is without ‘soul’?

    An Bord Pleanála deserve praise for granting planning permission, even with the caveat, for a piece of public art outside of the all too often commissioned ‘literalist’ tradition.

    Take a bow, Hands Across the Divide, among many many others..


    “ominous and otherworldly”

    Potentially. We only have the artist’s impression for now. But it is promising.

  • Dave

    Rory, make it five foot tall and stick it a corner of a park, and all is fine and dandy. It can then be “ominous and otherworldly” without being a childish, imposing gimmick.

    In addition, AAA, please explain how this will ‘regenerate’ an area that is prime real estate in Dublin and fully built on? In case you don’t grasp the concept of urban regeneration: it applies to rundown areas where property is in need of repair and a boost in value, and not to areas where an acre will cost you 50 million and a small apartment will cost you a million.


  • Greagoir O Frainclin


    Very true Irish Liberal, but this was planned in Celtic Tiger days and I suppose they want to see it through! Besides, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority have a lot of money but not much architectural vision.

    I don’t particularly like this giant ‘wire mesh’ frame for Dublin because of the rather crude appearance compared to the more ghostly fuller statuesque figures of his piece ‘Another Place’ in Liverpool. Pity that are gonna get rid of it too.

    But I suppose that’s what art is all about really, taste! However, it’s always kinda good to have a little knowledge and appreciation of all art and architecture, both classical and contemporary.

    I think however that in general, Irish folks (including British NI folk) appreciation of art is a bit limited compared to our European neighbours. Kinda explains why our cities and public spaces throughout the island look rather bland and rather shite and uninspiring really! More so the newer developments, and particularly the architecture.

    Regarding the proposed Dublin figure, the mournful pose with the bowed head reminds me of the fine but conventional sculptural bronze figure of a British soldier at the Enniskillen War Memorial.


  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    I guess there’s no money in the kitty then …It’s not gonna go ahead now. See new thread on Sluggar!

    They better build that 2nd Calatrava bridge however.

  • An Amateur Anthropologist

    I was not aware that Dublin’s Docklands was a prime area of land. So Dave, I stand corrected on that. I’m deeply suspicious of current conceptualisations of regeneration anyway, and I do not seek to laud Gormley’s work for economic reasons, but aesthetic ones.

    An Amateur Anthropologist

  • Pete Baker

    Update Dublin Docklands Authority says, Thanks, but.. “given the current economic environment, the Docklands Authority will not be proceeding with this development.”