VISITORS are flocking to Sunderland to view Sir Antony Gormley’s Field for the British Isles

The work by the creator of the Angel of the North, is on display at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (NGCA) at National Glass Centre until late September.

The Turner Prize-winning artwork comprises of 40,000 unique clay figures and hasn’t been on view in the north east since 1996.

The first week of ten-minute private viewings is already sold out, and weekend slots are going fast. Available tickets, which are free, can be booked through - or can be reserved in person at National Glass Centre, or by ringing 0191 515 5555.

Alastair Robinson, Director at NGCA, said: “This is a significant piece of artwork by one of the UK’s most respected and recognisable artists, so we’re not surprised demand has been so high.

“The viewing space is relatively small and the limited number of viewers at one time provides an intimate, contemplative experience – almost a private viewing experience.

“Although we’ve been busy, there are still plenty of timed entry tickets available. This system is allowing us to safely manage entry into the gallery in order to give all visitors the best possible experience whilst viewing the work.”

Only visitors who have pre-booked a slot will be granted access to the exhibition.

The monumental installation comprises 40,000 small clay figures and was last in the region 25 years ago when it was on display at the former Greenesfield British Rail Works in Gateshead. More than 25,000 people saw the exhibition.

A team of 25 volunteers worked over three days to install the exhibition at NGCA, many of them students from University of Sunderland.

The artwork is on loan from the prestigious Arts Council Collection, an important national loan collection of modern and contemporary British Art. Sunderland Culture is part of the Collection’s National Partners Programme which supports regional galleries and museums to present and curate exhibitions drawn from the Collection.

The project has been made possible thanks to an £18,000 grant from the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund, the Weston Loan Programme is the first ever UK-wide funding scheme to enable regional museums to borrow works of art and artefacts from national collections.

Field for the British Isles was chosen by Sunderland Culture’s Art Champions, a group of nine local people with no formal arts training but a passion and interest to discover more about modern and contemporary art. Several Arts Champions help install the artwork.

It is the first time Gormley has exhibited in Sunderland and Field for the British Isles will be on display until September 25.

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