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  • Writer's pictureOlivier Blanc

The magic of Sound II

Category: Art

Post Contributor: Olivier Blanc


Sculpture standing in water inside Winchester cathedral crypt by Antony Gormley with water reflection and atmospheric natural light

Sound II, Winchester cathedral. Photograph by Olivier Blanc, 2024


Title: Sound II

Date: 1986

Artist: Antony Gormley (b. 1950, British)

Medium: Fibreglass, lead, water

Size: 188 × 60 × 45 cm

Location: Winchester Cathedral, England (Permanent display)


In the initial stage, Winchester's Cathedral in England was founded in 642. It has an authentic Norman east end built on a crypt and ranks among one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. This historical area stood the test of time and remained practically unchanged. The featured stonework is intact and dates back to its earliest completion.

As a part of its initiative to introduce contemporary art into the Gothic architectural piece, the Cathedral placed the sculpture within its Crypt, a unique and atmospheric place.

Created by the British artist Antony Gormley in 1986, Sound II reflects well his artistic approach and style of ideas. The human-scale sculpture stands still and has been doing so through time. It comes to life in natural rays of light when they occur. Comparable to a sentinel, it remains calm and unphased beneath the significant stone mass.

What is worth noting, in connection to its unique atmosphere, is the fact that the Crypt routinely floods and consequently submerges the sculpture knee-deep in water. Taking this into consideration to add depth and poetry to the art piece, the artist incorporated an ingenious mechanism through the body. As the water level rises within the Crypt Sound II's cupped hands fill in.


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