Sculpture for Derry Walls
East Wall, Derry, Northern Ireland
Sculptor Antony Gormley’s idea was a simple one. The best often are. The figure stands with his, or her, arms outstretched. Like Christ. A cruciform. The symbol of Christianity. But this isn’t just one figure. It’s two. They’re joined back-to-back. Two figures joined as one, but looking away from each other…looking in opposite directions. Could the figures represent, perhaps, the divided communities of this city and of Northern Ireland? Separated by cultural and religious differences, but united in Christianity and, most importantly, in humanity? Sculpture for Derry Walls was originally part of a group of three identical statues that were unveiled in Derry back in 1987 as part of a temporary exhibition. The three eyeless cruciforms didn’t go down well at first with some locals taking exception to the message the work conveys. But at the end of the exhibition, Antony Gormley donated this one figure to the city of Derry. A constant reminder of how people can live divided, but underneath our differences, we’re pretty much all the same.