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Fathom

Bill Woodrow (1948 - )

Books, steel chain, glass, coins, wax and string sculpture

May 1998

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© Bill Woodrow

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  • About the work

    A glass turtle is anchored by a chain to a stack of books, which are bound with string and covered with wax. This sculpture was given to Chris Smith, former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, by the publishers Faber and Faber, as a form of contractual acknowledgement for his book "Creative Britain". The Secretary of State's ministerial position meant that he was unable to accept any advance or royalties for the book, but the contract needed to be made binding, and so the consideration was set at one pound. Rather than presenting the Secretary of State with a pound coin, Faber and Faber commissioned Bill Woodrow to make a sculpture, explaining to him that he could do anything with the pound coin except deface it. "Fathom" was the outcome of this commission, and the pound is represented in the one hundred pennies contained within the turtle.

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  • Details
    Title
    Fathom
    Date
    May 1998
    Medium
    Books, steel chain, glass, coins, wax and string sculpture
    Dimensions
    height: 98.00 cm, width: 65.00 cm, depth: 31.50 cm
    Acquisition
    Presented by Faber and Faber Ltd., May 1998
    Inscription
    along edge of one book: Bill Woodrow / May 1998
    Provenance
    The artist via Faber & Faber Ltd
    GAC number
    17326