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Most controversial campus moment of 2018

Written by Comment

Perhaps not a moment but more spreading across the whole semester, the new Antony Gormley sculpture on King’s Walk has caused major controversy from its announcement to now, as many people have disagreed with its placement and overall aesthetic.

Entitled Clasp, the new Gormley statue is located on the King’s Walk between the Students Union and the Northern Stage and stands at 4.5 meters tall. Antony Gormley is a loved artist of some of the UK’s most treasured pieces, including the Another Place at Crosby in Liverpool and of course the Angel In The North in Northumberland. So why is this new statue causing major controversy?

Perhaps the main complaint people have is the location of the huge sculpture, and it being an “eye sore” to many. Located in front of the arches it can obstruct the picturesque view of the famous buildings that many students enjoy posting on an Instagram story at dusk. The size of the sculpture too causes it to be an unnecessary obstruction when walking down the King’s Walk. The idea of the sculpture being made from Iron means that it will change colour over-time due to rust, but it just looks rusty and old.

To fight the powers that be and to protest against the statue, students organised for a Gnome to be placed onto Clasp. I chose this to be the most controversial moment for irony, as I was present at the protest and it was not what I expected. It seemed like it was more of an organised, accepted addition to Clasp than a protest, and I stood there with confusion as to why the Gnome was even placed in the first place.

Last modified: 10th April 2020

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