Wales, UK / Multi-screen Installation / 2012
Following a protracted closure programme over a 40 year period, steelmaking in Ebbw Vale in the South Wales Valleys came to an end in July 2002. Two years later one of the most iconic steelworks structures, the Pickle Line, was demolished, an event recorded by scores of amateur and professional film makers on all sides of the valley, many of whom were ex-steelworkers. This installation will bring a number of those films together, synchronised to the moment of demolition.
The films illuminate the UK’s transition over the past half century from being makers of things, to consumers of things. Yet they also represent the end of the sense of uniformity and collective endeavour engendered by heavy industry and the newfound, perhaps hollow, power of the individual to record events from their own point of view.
Stefhan Caddick is an artist who works at the border. He is often to be found dragging things from the darkness into the light, and back again. His work is at times blackly comedic, at others quietly ridiculous. He is interested in the savagery of the natural world, misremembered episodes from political history, the 3 minute single and not knowing the way.
Image courtesy of Ebbw Vale Demolition Team. Footage used with the kind permission of BBC Cymru Wales, James Sheppard, John Faulkner (Precision Demolition Company Ltd), Russell Retallick, Roy Nancarrow, Delwyn Evans, The Demolition Team at Ebbw Vale and the Ebbw Vale Works Archival Trust.