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Then Here and Now: (From Wood to Ash To Birds)
I made a train from wood brought from DIY shops, I took it to a disused railway line in an attempt to get from one station to another, a total distance of 8 miles.
It's some 40 years since a train graced the paths that I dragged my homemade train on.
The Train and its construction changed along its journey, it became something else, something that was made possible due to the attempt of the journey. A process occurred, a transformation within the construction, it starts with the deconstruction and the limitations of the material and from its original form. The failing of the object brings about new possibilities.
In this case the back of the train is breaks and de-constructs itself within 3 miles of the journey, it was then chipped with a industrial chipper and burnt along the way, in order to make a glaze for some ceramic birds.
A shriek, a crack, a cry of splinting wood sing somewhere close by in a valley, that once echoed the sound of iron, stone and steel. Cut, raw and broken the machine, starts to knee to the ground. Tired, worn and battered the man starts to crawl pulling the contraption along a disused railway line. Times have changed, things are changing. It’s clear the man aid the machine. The sense of the work has not yet been lost. On lookers walking dogs and riding horses carry on by observing the detritus of the train and suffering of the man. An attempt is being made, disbelief fills wondering eyes. The attempt is to pull the contraption along an 8-mile stretch along a disused railway in the Staffordshire Landscape. Smoke comes from the belly of the train, ambers burn white. The train halters and the man collapsed.
Ash. Mixed with water, poured over ceramic.
The memory of the train wreckage lives within a Ceramic Bird.
Here is a short trailer that I made for the film, to give you a little more insight.