A new work by Sir Antony Gormley has been officially unveiled at King’s. The sculpture, titled True, for Alan Turing, stands 3.7 meters tall and sits at the heart of the College, between Gibbs Building and Webb’s Court. It is made from 140 mm thick rolled Corten steel, a material frequently used by the artist, including for his most well-known work The Angel of the North.
Speaking at King’s, Antony Gormley observed:
Alan Turing unlocked the door between the industrial and the information ages. I wanted to make the best sculpture I could to honour a man who was pivotal in changing the course of all our lives. It is not about the memorialisation of a death, but about a celebration of the opportunities that a life allowed.
I want this work to be something that the life of the College lives with and that will be a continual source of questioning, of projection, a marker of an elusive relationship to a person and our evolving time.
Alan Turing’s work on mathematics, computing, cryptography and biology continue to impact on the world today. His codebreaking work at Bletchley Park was virtually unknown at the time of his death in 1954 but is now celebrated through blockbuster films and books. His prosecution for homosexuality at a time when it was subject to criminal charges and vicious prejudice means that Turing has become an important icon in the history of gay emancipation and the long, ongoing difficult history of the public acceptance of homosexuality in Britain.
Dr Gillian Tett, Provost of King’s, commented:
Antony Gormley’s sculpture is designed to reflect both Turing’s brilliance and his vulnerability, but at the same time the sculpture also embodies the transformation of the industrial into the information age. Alan Turing played a crucial part in this transformation, one that continues to reshape our world today.
The sculpture can be seen from a variety of viewpoints and sits at the junction of routes through the College travelled daily by staff, students, members of the College and University and Cambridge residents. The College will also make the sculpture accessible to visitors and school groups through pre-arranged bookings and on designated occasions such as Open Cambridge days.
Read more about Alan Turing and this extraordinary artwork here.