previous exhibitions at 'The Alex'


Tony Gumley: Three Buxom Ladies


Tony Gumley 'Three Buxom Ladies' – installation at Holme Pier Point.
Welded and corroded steel sheet. Each figure 3800 x 2900 x 14 millimetres.

In spring 2018 renowned artist Tony Gumley arranged for the installation of three identical copies of his welded and corroded steel sheet 'Buxom Lady' figures in the intertidal zone at Holme Pier Point.

Seen from the footpath leading inland they are almost invisible, appearing as three vertical 'poles'. Only by walking along the beach can the figures be fully seen, with their initial appearance suggesting normally-proportioned adult women. Only when approached from along the tideline is their characteristic 'buxom' profile revealed.

'In my childhood,' Gumley recounted to Ms Cynthia Smythe-Smith, the Curator of the Queen Alexandra Arts Centre, 'seaside shops sold saucy postcards depicting curvaceous ladies making slightly risqué remarks. These sculptures attempt to put these women back into the sea where McGill, the artist, depicted them paddling.'

Donald Fraser Gould McGill (1875–1962) was an English graphic artist whose name has become synonymous with the genre of saucy seaside postcards that were sold mostly in small shops in British coastal towns.

Gumley also stated to Cynthia Smythe-Smith that 'The transformation of these figures from anorexic-like to fully-curvaceous as the viewer moves along the beach is intended to invoke the complex modern day notions of female body image.'

The sculptures were removed in autumn 2018 to prevent storm damage.


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While you are at The Alex don't forget to visit the Ace Caff, with a collection of vintage playing cards displayed under the glasstop tables.

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Text and previously unpublished images copyright Bob Trubshaw 2018–2019