CAMMELL LAIRD RESIDENCY

2000-2001

Work commissioned by Arts Council of England and Cammell Laird Shipyard, Birkenhead

 

SACRIFICIAL ANODES

 

Chains are ubiquitous in a shipyard and indeed are emblematic of ships and shipbuilding generally, while salt also has manifold links with shipping and trade. In Sacrificial Anodes, the artist cast chains from salt and laid them along the floor of the dry dock, only to be dissolved by rain, wet mud and intruding seawater. Where the chain stands for strength and permanence, this piece suggested the fragility of even the most enduring certainties.

 

In yielding to the need to flood the dry docks and the demands of the ship repair timetable, Mackinnon-Days works have merely reflected the everyday realities of the yard. They have, in this as in the materials and ideas from which they have been constructed, drawn from the life of the shipyard and its work force in a way wholly in keeping with the unique environment from which they have emerged.