Audio transcript

Richard Deacon 'Struck Dumb'

Narrator: Richard Deacon talks about his 1988 sculpture - made from forged and welded steel - called 'Struck Dumb'.

The sense of there being a hollow interior is quite important to the work and your recognition that this is a kind of hollow skin or a hollow form and therefore would have some resonance is quite important. At the same time, the end shape which is that kind of red painted, almost like a bow tie, is as if it were cut off. So, the idea of the relationship between the title and the work is that relationship between the idea of the interior as this kind of resonant space and the idea of its sealing, being cut off. So that flat 'bow tie' is a kind of gag on the work. And at the same time the process of making it, this kind of heavy steel bent thing is intended to evoke the noise of making it, the banging and bending, so that language and manufacture are kind of tied together in the work. And I suppose there is some way in which it also reflects where the work was made. It was made in Glasgow at one of the shipyards on the Clyde and there is some affection for the particular skills that were being used which are less articulated now than they would have been in the past. So the technology and the metaphor are tied together.