Work has begun to reinstall Turner Prize-winning artist Antony Gormley’s (b. 1950) 6 TIMES along the Water of Leith in Edinburgh. This multi-part sculptural project was originally installed in 2010, and having resolved the complications leading to the removal of four elements of the work installed in the Water of Leith itself, we are now reinstalling these sculptures in their original locations.
Commissioned by the National Galleries of Scotland, 6 TIMES consists of six life-sized figures positioned between the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (SNGMA) and the sea. Four of the figures are sited in the Water of Leith itself, acting as gauges for the height of the river as it swells and recedes. This enigmatic, provocative and stimulating work conveys a sense of mystery and quiet monumentality, and draws attention to the important natural environment of the Water of Leith, which runs through the heart of Edinburgh.
The first figure is located within the grounds of the SNGMA. Although a full-length cast, it is buried in the ground up to neck-level. The next figure will be reinstalled within a basin of the river immediately behind the gallery, where it will gaze down into the water in a contemplative pose. A further three figures will be reinstalled at separate points downstream in Stockbridge, Powderhall and Bonnington, looking progressively up, right and left. The final figure, situated at the end of an abandoned pier in Leith Docks, looks out to the point where the river course finally meets the sea.
The National Galleries of Scotland has worked closely with the City of Edinburgh Council to resolve the issues relating to the removal of elements of 6 TIMES in 2012, and has received permission to reinstall the four sculptures at Cauldron Weir, Stockbridge, Powderhall and Bonnington.
Modifications have been made to the fixings so that the sculptures are now permanently fixed to their mounts. The original design allowed them to tilt and submerge when the river flow reached certain levels.
Work will be undertaken by Caldive Ltd., expert marine contractors, and is due to be completed by early Summer 2019.
A number of stakeholders have been consulted during the re-installation process including: Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Local Wildlife Crime Officers, City of Edinburgh Council, The Honorary Water Bailiffs of the Water of Leith and the Water of Leith Conservation Trust to ensure that works will be undertaken with as little disruption to the environment as possible.
The reinstallation of 6 TIMES was made possible by an anonymous supporter who recognises the Work’s importance to the city of Edinburgh.
The National Galleries of Scotland will cover costs associated with conservation and debris maintenance.