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Hawser, Highham Bight by Keir Smith

Hawser, Highham Bight by Keir Smith

These three carvings were originally part of a five-piece frieze made from railway sleepers from the London Underground entitled Variations on a Braided Rope, made in 1984 for Smith's exhibition Navigator at Rochdale Art Gallery. Keir Smith wrote for the catalogue Revelation for the Hands, 'The first in the series was a carving of a sinuous length of rusted steel hawser; The Final Flourish was the last and depicts a coil of rope. Between these carvings were three images describing aspects of the landscape along the Thames Estuary. Kentish Fire represented stubble burning in the fields, Funnel showed the superstructure of a cargo ship truncated by the sea wall, while Across the River depicted smoke pouring from the chimneys of the power stations which line the north bank of the river. Like the sleepers from which they were carved, the Variations on a Braided Rope evoke a journey through a much used land'.