Industrial

A tiny girl stands in an enormous factory. They are casting steel: steel for ships, steel for the mines. Nearby the ships will be built; that she knows. The steel pours, the men like ants in scale, the heat, the stench, the noise, all are embossed into her being.

Later on, she took that little walk to the edge of town; she walked across those tracks. No viaduct, but the gritty screaming bands in the workers clubs alongside the steel works, again embossed.

Now, almost 40 years later: a post-industrial city in Europe. No steelworks, no bright clear beaches (where the massive ships sometimes end broken in the winter storms).

Where do these tracks now lead and what do they allow?

Steel bridges, steel lines in the snow, construction site grey dust, an assemblage of materials that will be ordered and built back into the cold, greasy grey.

Stretch all those years of looking, that line of experience back again to the steelworks. Pour that music in through the ears and out through the hands. Cut that line deep in the shapes, organize the elements, tie them down and connect them all together again. There you have it: an explanation.

Helen Britton, 2011