Artist's Statement by Liz Lake
Endnote is the piece I have made in response to the novel Shifts by Christopher Meredith. The book is set in 1977 in the steel mill Ebbw Vale and documents the end of steel production and the move to the newer process of electrolytic tin-plating. I was interested in finding out more about the setting of the book and visited the Ebbw Vale Works Museum Archives to look at documents and images relating to this period. I was also drawn to a section of the book that describes the "welders' cabin", decorated with pieces of artwork they had made from scrap metal. For me this passage highlighted the crossover where skills used in commercial workplaces meet craftsmanship and aesthetic judgment, and questions when and how we place value and merit in objects and materials. My piece combines tin-plated cast bronze with enamel paint, steel and sections of archival documents printed onto tinplate and paper.
With thanks to Ebbw Vale Works Museum Archives for permission to use their text and images.