Iron people watch over Lech

2nd August 2010, by Chris Gill

Invasion of the iron people (might be a bit chilly without their ski gear on!)

Invasion of the iron people (might be a bit chilly without their ski gear on!)

Lech has some new residents to oversee the ski area next winter: 100 life-size human sculptures, standing tall near the lifts and slopes of Austria’s premier resort.

The eerie spectacle is the work of a British sculpture, Antony Gromley, and consists of iron figures scattered widely across the slopes above the Austrian resort, and beyond to some smaller regions of Bregenzerwald; most are on Lech’s Kriegerhorn, apparently. The creation forms part of a local area art project, with the metal people to remain on the mountainside for two years.

As with most art projects of its kind, there is usually a question being asked or a point to be made. In this case, it is about how man and the planet work together, and where humans belong in the great wilderness. Gromley, who was also the man behind Newcastle’s Angel of the North statue, admits this is his most ambitious work to date – with his creations exposed to the harshest of weather.

The project has been years in the planning, and an arduous task for local teams to install the figures on the slopes. But they are already drawing the attention of summer visitors; no doubt it will be quite a sight for skiers and boarders next season.

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