Repertoire of Reality 1994
Works Garage, City of Ottawa, Canada
Steel, blacksmith tools, paint
The City of Ottawa works garage was undergoing a transformation, the old building yards with its individual work areas was being replaced by a new more open spaced Swansea complex. Within this changing reality many of the artifacts collected over the years, as a product of the labour involved with the yards, was being dismantled. There was a collection of carefully crafted hand forged blacksmith tools which seemed particularly poignant in describing a fundamental shift from the crafted to the manufactured product. In the early 1800’s the blacksmith of Upper Canada played a significant role in the social structure of a mainly agrarian society and was fundamental to the economic stability of that community. This piece uses over sixty of these hand forged blacksmith tools which are distributed on a steel shelf and on either end are large digital images of a blacksmith at work, forging individual pieces of steel by fire and water.