In the past the role of the Blacksmith was very diverse . Not only was he the local toolmaker and “engineer”, he was sometimes called upon to act as Dentist, Doctor, Undertaker,Veterinary surgeon, horse dealer or even let people cook in the coals. He would often also hold important office in the village such as the magistrate or Church warden.
I love the idea that the forge was the centre of the community at one point and wanted to recreate this atmosphere in this piece.
As part of a residency in a Welsh forge I began exploring the idea of creating a community event in the space. I wanted to bring people back in, recreating the feelings of social importance it once generated, and explore making work which is not a physical final object, but is more of an experience.
I hosted an evening in the forge and hired a Welsh folksinger and traditional story teller. During the residency I worked with local residents to make shadow puppets. These were used to animate a screened sculpture I made which used the forge fire as a backlight, whilst the story teller performed live.
There was also free soup and music around a fire pit.