Antony Gormley, sculptor of the Angel Of The North in Gateshead, has said he accepted his knighthood as “a recognition” for the art form.
The 63-year-old is one of the country’s most prominent artists, with public works to his name including the giant rust-coloured Angel Of The North and Another Place - which consists of 100 cast-iron figures on a Sefton beach looking out to sea.
Gormley, who won the Turner Prize in 1994 and accepted an OBE in 1997, said he was “happy” to accept the honour.
He said: “I think it’s a good thing for sculpture and a recognition of the aspect of sculpture that is about a collective vision.”
Gormley, who grew up in London and was educated at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, said he felt the award was representative of a shift in the culture of the country.
He said: “We’ve realised we are rather good at making things that are not simply ships, planes or military equipment.
“This is something we can be proud of and take to other cultures.
“I think it’s a feeling that these sort of awards went to people, and of course still do, that have served the country in obvious ways militarily, politically or industrially and now they also go to people that have opened people’s minds and this reflects that shift.”