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Part of a suite of etchings created as a sculpture proposal about James Brindley, the canal builder, and his involvement with Coventry.
This series of etchings was created as a proposal for a sculpture for Coventry. The design was unsuccessful and the story is full of irony.
James Brindley was the genius who knew how to build canals - he was very inventive in his methods and designed some 375 miles of waterways.
Brindley used to arrive at a site, survey it, and would often then retire to a darkened room for days at a time. This son of a drunken farm worker had little formal education and preferred to work out his ideas in his head rather than on paper. It was in this way he fathomed out these enormous engineering solutions.
After some time working on Coventry Canal, it became clear that it would be necessary for the smooth working of the canal to allow their competitors an advantage at the end of the canal towards Oxford.
Brindley began work in Coventry, but after not much more than a year into construction, the high standards that he demanded became too much for the company who were already struggling financially. They dismissed his services at more or less the point that the new Coventry Canal was joining the Oxford Canal at Hawkesbury Junction, causing serious problems in both engineering and economic terms.
My brief was to link the newly refurbished canal basin via five miles of reopened canal paths to Hawkesbury Junction.
The first part of my proposal, as depicted in this etching, was to place a lifesize bronze of Brindley watching the canal basin from his 'darkened room'. This building is in fact a 'lucam' a tall structure for loading canal boats from above.
The second part of the proposal was to place an identical bronze of Brindley standing on the bridge at Hawkesbury Junction, looking towards Oxford. But this was not to be!
Dimensions: Plate Size: 22cm x 24cm
Medium: Soft Ground Etching
Edition size: Edition of 50
Collection: Private & Artist`s Collections