Antony Gormley: Michael Gove should be locked up in my latest sculpture

The Angel of the North artist has called arts cuts 'a disaster' and would put the Secretary of State for Education in a gigantic steel model of himself until he can 'evolve a more imaginative' approach to GCSEs

The sculptor behind the Angel of the North has branded the arts cuts in the region a “disaster” and said Michael Gove should be locked in one of his sculptures after failing to make art compulsory in his proposals for the overhauled of GCSEs. 

Speaking at an exhibition of new works at the White Cube Bermondsey, Antony Gormley gestured towards Model, the largest sculpture he has ever made - an immersive, labyrinthine metal form which can accommodate 380 people - and said: “That Gove guy should come here, and we’ll lock him in Model and he can evolve a more imaginative approach as to what human consciousness is about.”

He pledged to write a letter to Gove today urging the education minister to make the arts an important part of the curriculum. “It seems clear we have to make the funds available for art rooms to continue to flourish in schools,” he said. “We should all fight as hard as we can to get creativity properly valued.”

This follows an appeal from institutions including the National Theatre, the British Museum and the Royal Shakespeare Company, led by the Tate, who wrote to Gove urging him to include the arts as one of the core subjects in the proposals for an English Baccalaureate.

Gormley said: “We have had a culture in this country of the most extraordinary arts schools, as well as music and drama and art in schools. We have to fight to maintain it, support it and grow it.”

The artist’s celebrated work includes the Turner Prize-winning work Field for the British Isles, made up of thousands of terracotta figures between three and 10 inches tall. He also put 31 life-size human figures across London’s skyline for the work Event Horizon. 

His new exhibition in east London comprises sculptures that range from the small to the vast. The biggest, Model, was made with 100 tonnes of weathering sheet steel. The works were dubbed “both sculpture and building”.

“Who wants to just make money,” he concluded yesterday. “The thing is to make life and make it mean something. I’m just shocked, I don’t know how this Government can live with itself.”

Arts and Entertainment
Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power