Currently Closed
Andrea Peña
States of Transmutation
View Exhibition
Asim Waqif
Assume the Risk
View Exhibition
Shohei Katayama
As Below, So Above
View Exhibition
Doreen Chan
HalfDream: Another Room
View Exhibition

After School

Teen Summer Workshop Series
Our Mission

The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

Learn More About Us

Bill Woodrow

Ship of Fools: Discovery of Time


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.

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce at elit quis felis ullamcorper vehicula non in est. Maecenas finibus pharetra justo et faucibus. Nulla eu tortor vel ex volutpat efficitur. Vivamus placerat turpis in aliquet venenatis. Quisque ac lacinia mauris. Nam quis lobortis elit. Vestibulum sagittis nisi sit amet euismod hendrerit. Mauris non sodales odio. Donec efficitur molestie quam, sed lobortis massa vestibulum ut.

Nunc at arcu sodales nisi porta euismod non vel neque. Phasellus at lobortis ante, in suscipit justo. Proin non purus vitae nisi molestie consectetur. Vestibulum volutpat lobortis interdum. Vestibulum pretium ligula lorem, egestas ultricies lectus ultricies ac. Curabitur venenatis vulputate dolor.

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.

Ship of Fools: Discovery of Time is a permanent installation. It was installed at the Mattress Factory in 1986 and opened to the public in 1988.


Permanent Installation
About The Artist

Bill Woodrow was born near Henley, Oxfordshire, UK. In addition to sculpture, Woodrow specializes in drawing, and printmaking. He studied at Winchester School of Art, Winchester, St. Martin’s School of Art, London, and Chelsea School of Art, London.

Woodrow’s career took off in the early 1970s after he hosted his first solo exhibition at Whitechapel Art Gallery in London. In his earlier work, Woodrow used recycled materials taken from dumps and scrap yards. Later in his career, he began working with bronze.

Woodrow’s work is held by collections including, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The British Museum, London; Tate Gallery, London; Musée des Beaux-Arts, France; Butler Gallery, Ireland; Yongsan Family Park, Korea, and much more.

More from this Artist

More from this Exhibition





It's All About ME, Not You

Infinity Dots Mirrored Room


Repetitive Vision



Music for a Garden

Untitled (Calisthenic Series)


Give artists the time, space and resources to create remarkable works of art that help us see our world in new ways.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram