'Land' – Saddell, Scotland - Atlas Obscura


Originally intended as a temporary installation, this sculpture is now a permanent part of a stunning Scottish beach. 


An unusual figure of a man stands on the rocks in front of Saddell Castle. Its lumpy form has its back turned to the 16th-century castle, allowing its blank face to gaze out over the waters of the bay.

Land by renowned artist Antony Gormley (who’s best known for his sculpture Angel of the North) was first erected in 2015. It was one of five cast-iron sculptures temporarily placed within Landmark Trust properties in the United Kingdom to celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary. Each sculpture was meant to remain standing until 2016.

But unlike its fellow sculptures, which were all taken down and returned to Gormley as planned, this one’s still rooted in place. That’s because a mystery benefactor bought the sculpture for the Landmark Trust for an undisclosed amount of money.

Thanks to the anonymous donor, this abstract person will remain standing indefinitely. It’s now coated in a layer of red rust, thanks to the frequent rain, wind, and snow it must endure. The life-sized creation tends to confuse the occasional passerby, as from a distance, it’s easy to mistake the artwork for a real human.

Know Before You Go

The GPS coordinates lead to Saddell Castle. Park for free within Saddell Village, then cross the main road and walk through the castle grounds to reach the bay and see the sculpture.

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