Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Extraordinary Figures

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Extraordinary Figures

Article excerpt

Byline: By David Whetstone

So there it is - and there they are! More than 250 silvery "domains" (or figures) ranged across level four of Baltic.

After months of dust, grime, noise, clingfilm and pervasive, quick-drying goo (still lurking in your nose and ears hours later), hundreds of North-East volunteers have been distilled down to these shimmering entities.

If two's company, 286 are definitely a crowd. And yet, within this crowd, each figure appears to be in his or her own world - self-contained and slightly aloof.

They have been arranged uniformly across the gallery.

None faces each other.

You get no sense that they are communing, even that they are prepared to acknowledge each other's existence.

Of course, if you know the process whereby Domain Field came into existence, you'll know why this is so. Everyone was plastered separately, in a private cubicle. Domain Field is the sum total of 286 individual experiences.

But the process is past. What counts now is the product.

Yesterday, as the sun blazed through the roof of Baltic's level four gallery, the figures within the pools of light shone and threw out appealing criss-cross shadows.

Because you can walk among the domains - big ones and small ones, some densely rendered and some sketched in so lightly they are hardly there at all - there are infinite ways of viewing them.

It struck me as extraordinary, given the industrial shenanigans that brought them into existence, how delicate and human they are. They are quite beautiful.

Antony Gormley suggested volunteers, or at least their relatives, would be able to trace their domain quite swiftly.

And the heel of each one is numbered to help you if you really can't find yourself in a crowd. Seen from the level five balcony above, the perspectives are different again. …

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