The Barge of Invisible Memories
Galvanised mild steel
Built with the assistance of Arkadiusz Zykin and Ed Goolden
Commissioned by Old Ford Housing Association and Circle Anglia Ltd
The Barge of Invisible Memories is rooted in the history of the Hertford Union Canal, the Old Ford neighbourhood and the Lea River. The ford across the Lea River and the network of canals were a vital link between inland Britain and the rest of the world. It made Old Ford a cosmopolitan and industrious area over several thousand years. The most striking aspect of the sculpture is the three sectioned 'wave' of filigree. This combines two bits of history: firstly the story of a barge exploding on the Regents Canal in 1874. It was travelling the regular route from the gunpowder works at Waltham Abbey along the Hertford Union Canal to the Regent's Canal. Added to this is my interest in The English Wallpaper Company that moved to Old Ford in 1846, employing many local people. So I imagined rolls of wallpaper exploding out of the barge, like scrolls of history.
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