Ship of Fools: Discovery of Time / Bill Woodrow

Bill Woodrow, Ship of Fools: Discovery of Time, 1986



metal cabinets, existing kitchen, wood, paint

The artist left the turn-of-the-century kitchen in its worn state with peeling paint, neglected wood and antiquated fixtures. He added forms, cut from old metal cabinets.

You open the door into a room to see a disaster, frozen in time. The floor has been raised to show the effects of a mounting flood.

From a tap, made of an overturned gas mantle heater, liquid gold has flowed, filling the kitchen, and has petrified. A metronome fashioned from part of a cabinet to which it still clings stands as a symbol of time. Emerging from the pantry is the front half of a large water buffalo with a ship's model caught in its horns.

A remnant from the cabinet out of which the horns were cut sticks up through the gleaming surface like the fin of a shark. Over all of this, an unshaded bulb casts harsh light.
About the Artist
"Bill Woodrow studied at Winchester School of Arts and at St. Martin’s School of Art, London before spending one year at Chelsea School of Art, London. His first solo exhibition was at the Whitechapel Gallery, London in 1972. In the early 1980s he represented Britain at Biennales in Sydney (1982), Paris (1982, 1985) and Sâo Paulo (1983). In 1986 he was a finalist in the Turner Prize at the Tate Gallery, London. Woodrow’s work is characterised by his use of domestic and urban objects to make sculptures in which the original identity of his materials is still evident. Since the late 1980s he has expanded his range of materials to include welded steel and cast bronze." (The Royal Academy of Arts)
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