Bridge to Nowhere

Maquette for a Bridge to Nowhere
Experimental structural sculpture,
Wood, steel and string, 10m span x 5m x 3m high
Exhibited at Paintworks, Bristol, 2006

This piece was conceived as an experiment in pushing materials to the limit of their strength, whist conceptually playing with the metaphor of the bridge, being a link between one side and another, one dimension and another. The heavy base launches the structure up and around an exponential spiral, tapering down to an infinitessimal point at the tip. The structure is entirely self-supporting, and the forces are obvious to an observer when the structure is touched and moves in response to passers-by.

“After the structural engineer I was collaborating with on the piece realised that the structural design as I conceived it was not possible to model in the computer, and with two weeks before the show, it was left to trial-and-error to choose the thicknesses of the wood struts and wire ties to construct the piece. Thus the process and its documentation in emails with the engineer and photographs of collapsed early stages became as interesting as the final piece. The broken and repaired sections making the construction process visible in the final piece, a sort of iterative, evolutionary process, as infuriating as it was fascinating.”