Gormley in Wells
Today the statue “Doubt” by Sir Antony Gormley arrived in Wells. In a series of complicated manoeuvres it was raised into a niche on the West front of Wells Cathedral. The statue will stand in one of the empty niches that used to have either a saint or bishop in it. To be precise, these things have numbers you know, it will occupy niche 338 below the North-West tower.
The work to get the statue in place took much of the day. The Cathedral Works Department and Gormley Studio teams worked collaboratively. They wanted to ensure the installation is both part of the West Front but has no impact on the historic fabric. A temporary plinth with secure non-invasive fixings and protective measures will be used. They have all been specifically designed to seamlessly integrate the sculpture with the Medieval architecture. Everything is fully reversible to return Niche 338 to its original condition.
Having a sculpture called “Doubt” on the front of a cathedral is not without controversy. The Leveller hears that a former senior clergyman has expressed disquiet. But there are plenty in the church that would assert that doubt is also an integral part of faith. Either way it will certainly provide a talking point. And having the statue on loan to Wells will be good for local tourism and the local economy.
Meanwhile here are courtesy of photographer Len Copland, are some photos of the statue being raised: