Artist Eloise Hawser explains the composition of her vitrine in the ICA Off-Site project A Journey Through London Subculture: 1980s to Now. The project runs until Sunday 3 November 2013 at The Old Selfridges Hotel.
The photos below are taken at a metal recycling yard just off Amalgamated Drive in North West London. The yard is a destination for all manner of non- ferrous metals. Industrial air conditioning units down to copper trinkets end up here. The metals are sorted and bailed; copper tubing is flattened out, reduced to a vivid section. The bailer itself is a heavy duty grinder sunk into the ground.
The metals are generally exported on to China. The plastic cables, for example, are stripped by hand over there and the wiring extracted. The awkward motion of peeling cables has not been successfully motorised.
The two bales included in my vitrine are from the depot, after the show finishes, I will sell them back to the yard. I've also included images of public bronzes that are touched for luck. The sculptures are transformed by the activities of many hands. Depending on the level of traffic past the sculpture, the deformation can be extreme; a single toe of the statue of St Peter in the vatican has eroded so as to now resemble a stroked anvil.
Photos: © Eloise Hawser