I grew up on Awabakal Land near Newcastle, NSW Australia. At the time the region was a massive industrial center, and from a young age we were take on school excursions to the steel and glass works. From that time on I have had a fascination with industrial processes, particularly involving heat. Brutalist Architecture, cement, steel, the dichotomy of the aesthetics of industrial landscapes as opposed to the natural environment remain an unresolved preoccupation explored in these works.
Early on on I wrote this statement:
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, it leaves a strong impression.
Later on, she would often come back to that part of town, not only for the steel and the ships, but also for the gritty screaming post-punk bands in the workers clubs, whose sounds would form the basis of the musical accompaniment of her life till this day
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 2012