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Image of Professor Lord Colin Renfrew and Sir Antony Gormley
Professor Lord Colin Renfrew and Sir Antony Gormley

Sir Antony Gormley visits College and views new art studio

Acclaimed sculptor and Honorary Fellow, Sir Antony Gormley, received a warm welcome when he popped into College this week while in Cambridge to unveil his latest sculpture.

The new sculpture, titled True, for Alan Turing, stands at 12.1ft (3.7 metres) tall and is located at King's College where Turing studied and was a Fellow. It is made from 140mm thick rolled Corten steel, a material frequently used by Gormley, including for his most well-known work The Angel of the North.

The sculpture began as a 3D scan of Antony’s body (pose and shape) back in 2017 from Fellow of the College, Professor Roberto Cipolla (Information Engineering) and his research team.

Professor Cipolla was among a group of Fellows to greet Gormley yesterday, on his visit to the College. After lunch with the Master and Lord Colin Renfrew (Master 1986-1997), the sculptor took a tour of the new art room with Professor Jean Bacon and viewed the display in West Court of posters from previous Sculpture in the Close exhibitions.

Lord Renfrew was instrumental, along with Dr Jim Roseblade and Professor Bill Stronge, in the launch of Sculpture in the Close exhibitions and in 2009 Gormley created an exciting new installation for the exhibition. Also entitled Sculpture in the Close, 19 cast iron and fibre glass figures were deployed in the passages and courts and on the roofs of the College. The work recalled the Event Horizon installations in London and Rotterdam. One figure remains in the College's permanent collection, on prominent display in the Quincentenary Library

Gormley has become one of the most renowned and celebrated artists of our time. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999, the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture in 2007, the Obayashi Prize in 2012 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2013. In 1997 he was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) and was made a knight in the New Year’s Honours list in 2014. He has been a Royal Academician since 2003.

Speaking of his new statue at King’s, the sculptor observed: "Alan Turing unlocked the door between the industrial and the information ages. I wanted to make the best sculpture I could to honour a man who was pivotal in changing the course of all our lives. It is not about the memorialisation of a death, but about a celebration of the opportunities that a life allowed."