Bridget O’Gorman, ‘A Constitution of Iron’ Test Pieces

, 2017


Glazed earthenware and unglazed terracotta slip
Series of unique works

These tests were created as part of a research project entitled ‘A Constitution of Iron’, during a fellowship at the Birmingham School of Art, through which the precarious existence of creative professionals was explored. In dialogue with the casts/objects depicted, performances conversant with the material structure of the building (a purpose built, 19th Century, red brick building) were enacted – bodies hung, draped and balanced precariously upon the architectural fabric of the institution.

The 19th C school of art in Birmingham is a protected structure. The title of the work references a quote by the 19th C art critic, John Ruskin – who points out that the iron which makes red our building bricks and terracotta clay is the same mineral which flows through human blood: lecturing that we should not dismiss rusted iron as ‘spoiled’ [he states that it is in fact]…’metal mingled so delicately in our human life that we cannot even blush without its help’.

1 – Glazed earthenware slip – 12 x 14cm
2 – Glazed earthenware slip – 18 x 30cm
3 – Glazed earthenware slip – 24 x 13cm
4 – Glazed earthenware slip – 23 x 18cm
5 – Unglazed terracotta slip – 15 x 24cm
All – all of the above