6 Times – Edinburgh, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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6 Times

A succession of eerily contemplative iron figures lead from a Scottish museum to the sea. 


Permanently rooted in and around the Water of Leith, the sculptural works that comprise 6 Times are modeled after the artist himself and guide visitors along a serene path to the ocean.

Artist Anthony Gormley only installed his work, 6 Times, in 2010, but it is becoming many more times as haunting as rust and decay take their toll. Consisting of six life-size iron statues that were modeled after Gormley himself (genitals and all), the work is installed like breadcrumbs leading from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, down the creek known as the Water of Leith and then to the sea. The first figure is buried in the sidewalk up to its shoulders (even though the entire figure exists beneath the asphalt) and is then followed by four similar figures standing in the Waters, each looking contemplatively in a different direction. The final figure can be found at the end of a pier standing naked and silent while gazing out at the ocean.

The sculptures of 6 Times are made of cast iron, so a gritty layer of rust has all but covered each of the figures, adding a haunting element of time and decay to their silent gazes.

Update January, 2017: This installation has been removed to storage, it seems unlikely they will be reinstalled. 

Update May 2019: The statues have returned

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