Clay and the Collective Body

{IHME Project 2009: Antony Gormley, Clay and the Collective Body. Ninth day of the clay work. Photo: Kai Widell.}

Antony Gormley has turned an indoor sports arena in Finland into a giant collective artwork. Starting with a massive cube of raw clay, the exhibition is now on display after 10 days of sculpture making by the general public.

This has been done before (i.e., Damián Ortega’s Clay Mountain), but the scale and level of interactivity makes this really interesting. Plus, is it still winter in Finland? Anyway, probably pretty nice to be inside a sports arena, turning clay into a whimsical fantasy land of public art.

Be sure to check out the day-by-day photo diary at Here’s how it all started:

Here’s a bit more info about the project, if you are curious:

Clay and the Collective Body will feature a huge clay cube that will be both a challenge and a shared bodily experience. Designed specifically for Helsinki and realised for the first time here, Gormley’s work brings together Mass, Space and Energy in a response to the aims of the Pro Arte Foundation Finland: to ask questions about who make art, how art can be made and who it can be for.

The Clay and the Collective Body project will start with a clay cube the size of a small house (4 x 4 x 4 m) and weighing 100,000 kilograms, housed in a well-lit, humidified pneumatic building. In the first phase of the project (from 22 to 24 March), the public will be able to view the constructed cube. In the second phase (from 25 March to 3 April), the public will have an opportunity to work on and with the clay and to use it to make objects of any kind, big or small, alone or with others.

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