the […] large CLEARING drawings from 2006-2009 link back especially to the indexical trace that brings them into being. Each drawing (and there are over one hundred to date) inscribes the reality of a lived moment as the gesture of the artist's body takes over from the mere hand's touch. In fact, Gormley has referred to these drawings as being "a kind of choreography for the hand-arm-brain" or "just traces of activity where I'm using my mind-body as a sensor. They're almost like cardiograms of different vectors." For him, they are also mental diagrams furnished by the body in a fluid state. CLEARING L, LI AND XLVIII (2006), for example, indicate the release of energy implied. Following the physical rotation of the arm, they trace a spreading arc which loops in a wide circuit across the paper. Now, however, rather than being drawn, the fine lines are "carved" by the use of a sharp metal burin, normally used for etching. This activity exposes the weave of the paper from its pre-washed ground, and the technique is reminiscent of the carved line made in his early stone sculptures such as SKIN IV (1978) […]. The link between etching and drawing, always malleable, becomes manifest, but here the results are unique and not reproducible. Significantly, in CLEARING 100, 101 and 104 (2009), line is liberated from inscription and the drawing becomes a registering of time as well as constituting a mark. For the viewer, slowing down time to look allows room for thought concerning the wider implications of space.
Extract from Anna Moszynska, ANTONY GORMLEY: DRAWING SPACE, Milan: Electa, 2010, pp. 61, 64