Shawcross exhibits Chord at the Jute Shed (22 June–21 July 2019), part of the vast and historic Dean Clough Mills in Halifax. This is the first time the work has been shown since 2009.
Originally commissioned by Measure Arts to be displayed in a disused tram tunnel in London, the spectacular installation consists of two large identical machines, each holding 162 spools of coloured cord. In this new context, the work perfectly reflects the rich history of Halifax as a renowned centre for the production and trading of textiles.
As the complex work incrementally moves it invites the viewer to consider the perception of time as both a linear and cyclical notion. Over the course of its display the machines slowly retreat from each other to weave a thick, brightly coloured rope from the hundreds of cords. Each point on the rope can be traced back to the moment it was created, with the final length dependent on the duration of the exhibition.
An accompanying exhibition of related sculpture and drawings can be seen on display at the Piece Hall, including three pieces of rope produced by Chord in 2009 which are part of the Time Ruleseries. These works are measured not in meters but in minutes; literal lengths of time. Other works in the exhibition include the Celestial Meters (2009), which delve into the history of measurement and France's creation of the metric system.
Chord and its accompanying exhibition have been co-curated by Sam Clayton, to coincide with the Yorkshire Sculpture International (YSI) – a free, 100-day festival of sculpture taking place across the region.
The exhibition opens on Saturday 22 June at 7.30pm and continues until 21 July.
Image: Conrad Shawcross, Chord, 2009