Author, Sarah Bush.
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed at the hairdresser’s yesterday, and one of the pages I follow shared an announcement from the Crosby Beach Distortions page. ‘A textile project inspired by the textures, colours and shapes of Crosby Beach’, it said. ‘Look for the decorated Iron Men as well as Fabric on the Beach installations. One day only – by tomorrow the project will be over and the fabrics will be gone.’
The ‘Iron Men’ belong to Another Place, a remarkable installation of 100 life-size Antony Gormley figures, cast from his own body. They are spread out along three kilometres of beach, all staring out to sea, and all covered and uncovered by the tide twice a day.
As luck would have it, I had my camera with me, so I decided to go to Crosby once my hair had been beaten into submission and find out more about the Distortions project.
It turns out to be Elizabeth Jarvis’ final major project for her MA in Textiles and Surface Design. Elizabeth has been preparing huge swathes of fabric for weeks with a view to producing an end result which would merge organically with the landscape. Key to this process was the impact of the sea: all the fabrics were draped and arranged at low tide, and then fully submerged as the sea crept closer. As the tide went back out, the artworks in their final state were gradually revealed.
This iron man has been more determined than most to hang on to his draperies. (Surprisingly so, given that he was quite a lot further down the beach than the other six Elizabeth used.) I accessorised him with one of my Neo Walk sticks temporarily. He seemed unimpressed