‘Places To Be” is an Antony Gormley piece consisting of three standing male figures. The piece was the artist’s first public commission.
The figures’ fiberglass moulds were taken directly from the artist’s own body with a skin of lead being fashioned over the top. The lead surface had been damaged over time with various historic scratches and dents.
Of the three figures, two were complete and the third had its arms missing. After receiving the replacement arms, the lead around the head and shoulders was removed. After adjustments, the new arms were trimmed to the correct size and the shoulders remodeled to match. A stainless steel tube fixed to an internal body support was used to hold the new arms. The joints between the new arms and shoulders were blended using fibreglass resin to create a smooth surface.
As part of these works the artist, Antony Gormley, was invited to our studio to ensure he was happy with the modeling and to mark out the lines where the lead seams were to be positioned. After inspecting the work and making one small adaption we were given the go ahead to continue with the application of the lead.
Lead sheets were prepared and formed around the fibreglass using the marks provided by the artist. The panels were joined by lead welding the two sheets ensuring the weld bead matched the original in consistent size and shape. During the course of the works several areas of lead corrosion pustules were noted, these were removed and the holes in the lead filled by welding them closed.
Once the figure was fully welded the surface was lightly polished to give all three figures a uniform appearance. The figures were then left over a period of weeks to allow the lead to dull and darken after which two coats of lead patination oil was applied.
Hall Conservation is delighted to have enjoyed a long working relationship with Mr Gormley and it was a pleasure to work with him once again on this restoration project. The figures have since been placed back on public display this time in their new home on the rooftops of Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough. Many thanks to Vivacity.