The Angel of the North

angel of the north antony gormley newcastle

I have been on a 700 mile road-trip to the north-east of England. A green and pleasant land, far from the madding crowds of London.

I was staying with friends and we saw quite a lot of things, some of which I may blog about separately.

Experiencing the Angel of the North up close was an unplanned highlight. Designed by British artist Antony Gormley and completed in 1998 – I’d always wanted to see it.  There is something powerful and arresting when you witness it. A stark, pagan beautiful and rather gigantic objet d’art. On that windswept hill high up in one of the most northerly parts of England – there is a profundity to it that causes you to stop and pause and think.

angel of the north antony gormley newcastle

It can elicit a quasi-religious reaction. Most cultures throughout history have worshipped icons and totems and statues – false gods. I was reminded of such and felt the echo of something primal.

angel of the north antony gormley newcastle

angel of the north antony gormley newcastle

After Michelangelo’s David, I believe this is the most powerful sculpture I have experienced to date.

angel of the north antony gormley newcastle

All photos taken by me on a budget digital compact and then toned in Lightroom.

Boating for beginners

All photos in this entry taken by myself.

I’ve been out of London on a mini-break which took in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. 2 nights / 3 days. Was good to get out of London.

We spent all of Sunday in Cambridge. I’d never been before. It’s under 2 hours driving time yet I’d never before been. I’ve been to Vancouver and San Francisco and Hong Kong and Seoul and a fair number of other places – but I’ve been to comparatively few places in the UK.

It’s a memorable place. It is of course a university city and the colleges that make up Cambridge University dominate the whole place. And they are quite staggering to behold. I can’t imagine how awe-inspiring it would be to study here. An ex-boyfriend studied here (graduating with a double first in history). Sheridan narrowly missed out on going to Oxford and it’s one of those things he’s never quite got over, even though he went to a very good university in the south-west, one that is perhaps best known for being the Oxbridge fall-back university.

I think I would have been happy at Cambridge. I like tradition and I love old buildings and I really think it would have been inspiring to study somewhere this old (it is 800 years old). I would have enjoyed dining with peers and tutors in the refectory, wearing gowns, etc. The surroundings and the ambience are just amazing.

The building in the middle is King’s College chapel which is widely considered the finest example of late Gothic English architecture (yes, I’m quoting from Wikipedia!). It was built 500 years ago and has the largest fan vault ceiling of its kind.

Inside the chapel. Rubens’ ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ is the picture at the end.

Jesus College, Cambridge. It dates to 1496.

65 various photos of Cambridge University and its colleges, below.

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