Naked and cast in iron, five figures stand resolute. Lashed by Atlantic winter storms and burnt by the summer sun, Antony Gormley's Insiders look out to sea. Strategically positioned high up on the ramparts of Castle Cornet, these gaunt, emaciated-looking figures are silhouetted against the sky. They could appear to be sentinels keeping guard or maybe they are detainees searching for freedom. Either way, a narrative is created between these five fugitives, the location and the observer.
This 13th century castle and guardian to St Peter Port provides Gormley with a compelling location. It is a place of history and incarceration, yet represents independence and liberty. It was built for defence yet exposed to the elements. It is an edifice just asking for an artist of Gormley's calibre to embrace it. And he did. With his intuitive sense of 'place' and sensitive siting of his Insiders, back in April 2008, 'Lot' was born giving us the opportunity to rediscover this ancient monument while searching for these five new inhabitants.
Antony Gormley has for the past three decades been relentlessly examining and re-examining the figure, frequently casting his own body. The figures that adorn Castle Cornet are indeed cast iron images of Gormley, but something is different. These thin figures have tremendous presence but appear only to be a shadow of the artist's former self. This is because they are not direct casts. Although the height of the sculpture is true to Gormley's stature, the body mass has been laterally compressed.
And finally, to the question of why the installation is called 'Lot' - a question that is frequently asked. It is assumed that there is some kind of biblical reference but Gormley is quick to refer us to the dictionary definition of the word 'lot'. He is keen for us to think about what we have been allotted as human beings; allotted time, allotted space. He is eager for us to consider the very essence of our human condition l our destiny and our fortune; evocative words when linked to the location.