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HEW LOCKE

General shot of RuinedAll photos this page © Jamie Woodley 2010

Ruined
2010, Ten markers, average height above ground 1.5m
Cast iron
Public Art   Finance

A permanent artwork in Brunswick Square Cemetery Gardens, commissioned by Bristol City Council.

"Locke has produced ten cast iron gravemarkers commemorating commercial companies that have ceased trading or undergone radical transformation.  The outline forms, visual imagery and texts on each marker are drawn from historical documents such as share certificates.

"Locke draws us into a compelling process of deciphering the information, intentionally obscuring, or in some cases obliterating certain details.  Though cryptic, the partial evidence is enough to set off a potent set of associations.  Behind the confident typography of company names such as W.D & H.O. Willis, The West Indies Sugar Corporation, The Persian Bank Mining Rights Corporation, Pan Am Airlines and Enron lie stories of dramatic takeovers and bankruptcy.  The inclusion of The Society of Merchant Venturers and Ducrow's Circus refer directly to Bristol's past - the former with direct connections to the slave trade and the latter a reference to one of the city's first equestrian schools on the nearby Backfields site.  But their inclusion also alludes to the persistance of historical forms in contemporary Bristol.  The Merchant Venturers continues as a society which promotes the city's commercial interests, whilst the historical architecture associated with their trade interests are now home to the decidedly non-conformist Circomedia.

"In Ruined, Locke uses the language of the cemetery to create a work which resonates strikingly at a time of economic uncertainty".

© Claire Doherty, Director of Situations, University of the West of England.

Further information and full text available here

Click here to see Locke talk about Ruined (5.26)

 

Ducrows CircusPersian Mining

 
All images © Hew Locke & DACS unless otherwise indicated