Pearls of Wisdom Social Club – SUBJECT, Anthony Gormley, Kettle’s Yard

EDGE - Cambridge Art Salon

‘A lot of the work is to do with wanting to find a balanced relationship between what you could call the vicissitudes of the changing nature of our moods and our motivations – the “What am I doing?” “Am in charge?” “Is this my life?”

Anthony Gormley is talking to us about his current solo show at Kettle’s Yard, SUBJECT, the focus of our next Pearls of Wisdom Social Club. Running until the 27th August, the exhibition explores our relationship to space and our sense of self, plus asks who and what art is for.

‘Sculpture’, he says, ‘once you bolt it to the wall, can give you a little place, a little ledge, that is solid, where you can register your changing moods about everything. Having a place that is connected, but separate. Like this space, the gallery. Sculpture is like that, galleries are like that. A place apart.’

‘It’s like a meteorite in human form, he says, of EDGE, an iron sculpture which really caught our eye, which you can see in Gallery 2. ‘Iron is very dense. Its magnetic field is what allows us to spin. It’s a concentrated earth material – it has a fundamental relationship with the body that our bodies depend upon, which is the planet.’


EDGE was a hit at the Pearls of Wisdom Social Club itself, with visitors from Cambridge Manor Care Home and the fabulous Turtle Dove team, all exploring reactions to works and the exhibition. After a quick talk from Karen Thomas, we headed into the galleries to enjoy the show – and explore how the works made us feel. ‘It makes me want to swing from it like a monkey!’ said, Kate, of Turtle Dove.


Infinite Cube II, on show in the UK for the first time, made of a one-way mirror glass and 1000 LED lights, was very popular. ‘It’s like every time you look at it, there’s so much going on in such a confined space, says Fran. ‘It’s dazzling’, Margaret from Cambridge Manor tells us. ‘I liked the lights, they made me think of the Northern Lights’. Gormley himself advises peering up at it from the floor, where the view is apparently ‘endless’!

Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice cuppa back in the Learning Studio and met up with artist Jo Miller, experimenting with clay, to play with our own sense of space and proportion – with some fabulous results.

We shared what art is for and celebrated our own voices, on this sometimes mysterious subject. How walking around the show, it’s you, your perceptions, that bring it to life.

Interview with Anthony Gormley, Fran Smith and Ruthie Collins. Photos – Fran Smith.

Pearls of Wisdom Social Club returns to Kettle’s Yard in September.