Old cathedral nails used in artwork


Antony Gormley created this exhibit using old iron nails taken from the repaired roof of Canterbury Cathedral

Old iron nails taken from the repaired roof of Canterbury Cathedral have been used by sculptor Antony Gormley to create a striking new artwork there.

The piece, called Transport, is suspended at the cathedral above the site of the first tomb of Thomas Becket, the archbishop murdered at the altar on December 29 1170.

The two metre-long work uses antique iron nails from the cathedral’s repaired south east transept lead roof to construct a membrane outlining the space of a floating body.

Gormley, who won the Turner Price in 1994, is best known for his works such as the Angel of the North and Another Place on Crosby beach.

Speaking about Transport, Gormley, 60, said: “We are all the temporary inhabitants of a body. It is our house, instrument and medium.

“Through it all, impressions of the world come and from it all our acts, thoughts and feelings are communicated. I hope to have evoked this in the most direct way possible.”

The Very Reverend Robert Willis, the Dean of Canterbury, said: “It is very thrilling for all of us here at Canterbury Cathedral that Antony Gormley has taken the old nails from the roof which was being restored and from them created the statue Transport.

“The sense of passage which the word Transport conveys tunes well with the constant movement of people through this place of prayer and creativity.

“It also suggests the way in which sacred spaces communicate a sense of time and eternity, of the finite and the infinite.

“We are hugely grateful for this work.”

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