Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Power Of Icons

I was watching a TV show produced by my favorite funnyman Peter Kay of Bolton, Phoenix nights and Paddy and Max fame (well fame in Lancashire anyway) when I saw The Angel of the North. Antony Gormley, was commissioned to create a sculpture on the site of a former colliery pithead at Gateshead. Gormley chose as his subject - an angel - in memory of the thousands of men who worked below the ground in often appalling conditions. He explains: "People are always asking, why an angel? The only response I can give is that no-one has ever seen one and we need to keep imagining them". If you have ever had doubts about the power of imagination and the power of icons to evoke emotion, this incredible sculpture will silence them. At 20 meters (65 feet) high with a wingspan of 54 meters (175 feet) it soars from its grassy hilltop as a beacon for the skills, the achievements and the stubborn courage of the people of the North-East. Move over Rio. Hello Gateshead.

Click and drag your mouse over the image below:


Lawrayne said...

I watched the Angel of the North being installed and wondered about the "why" but it has become an iconic representation of the North East. I have no idea what the colliers would have thought of it but as a symbol of Geordie pride it has made its mark. I'm in NZ now and to log onto this page and see the angel flooded my mind with memories of home and for all of us to be recognised and remembered is as much as we can ask, thank you

J said...


Kevin, I used to think that no-one saw the world in Metaphor as I tend to do. No-one I know was interested in studying symbols and icons and their importance to our cultural evolution and spiritual heritage when applied to brands. Then I came across lovemarks. Reading your post this morning on icons made me so emotional because I thought..Yes I get him, I understand exactly what he means, my heart got all heavy and I had the strongest urge to cry. A tad sentimental I know but that you see is the power of the way you create pictures in my head when you describe your thoughts.

For our first brand we used what we believe to be an iconic image of a woman, part fairy, part angel, a celestial being. She was to represent my belief in angels and she was to represent the innocence and fun of the fae. She also taps into the little bakeshop belief in Anam Cara-Soul Friends-Kindred Spirits, the little bakeshop name for all of our customers.

The Angel of The North is the iconic representation of a nation’s belief in a realm that exists in our hearts..a mystical place, a tribute to the Sons Of God...To angels..& icons

Thank You

Josephine Fay
The Little Bakeshop-English Whimsy-French Romance-American Easy™

Tom said...

Great post Kevin. Please do keep them coming. Also, I'd appreciate a comment on this particular phenomenum (at least for me). As I did the 360, I felt a strong compulsion to stop, pause, and even reverse direction to view the small group of people in the photo. Who are they? What are they doing? Etc. Which leads me to believe that the most powerful imagery - brands included - is of . . . ourselves! Thoughts?