In this commission by Bridport Arts Center, I collaborated with artistic polymath Tom Barnett to create a sculpture made up of 100 portraits, photographed in a temporary street studio. These were to be orientated around a central sculpture with a soundtrack by Simon Mathewson. At the time Tom’s practice was building sculptures made from clay that became their own kiln and which also worked for firing smaller sculptures inside the body of the main piece.
We wanted to make a new piece of work that was drawn from our concern for the indelible mark made on the world by our energy creation and use. I photographed 100 people in one day and the portraits were screen printed with glaze onto thick tiles. Tom built a ceramic electical substation, into which the portrait tiles were placed. The ceramic substation was then wrapped in fire-blanket and a fire was lit underneath it, for 24 hour firing. The firing was serenaded by music created by Simon Mathewson. Tom timed the kiln to get up to heat (1300 degrees) at dusk, 24 hours after the firing stated and unwrapped it from the blanket revealing a glowing sculpture.
Once cooled down the sculpture and 100 portraits were placed in the gallery with a festoon of lights coming out from the substation lighting the portraits.