After taking a degree in archaeology, anthropology and art history at Cambridge University, Gormley spent three years in India studying Buddhism. On his return to London, he went to art school. Gormley is best known for his body casts; his first body casts in lead date from 1981. Over the last twenty years his work has focused on an investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation, using his own body as the subject. Gormley won the Turner Prize in 1994, and in 1997 created the twenty-metre high Angel of the North on Tyneside.