Technique and condition

The following entry is based on an interview with Simon Starling at Tate Store on 14th October 2005 as well as documentation from the conservation record held in Sculpture Conservation.

A single unit made up of parts taken from twenty different bicycles that the artist collected and a Pederson (the black sections at the front and back). The longer new steel bars were made specially and the thin grey tubes were obtained specifically from bicycles in Berlin. The bicycle should be in working order.

Comprising iron, steel, aluminium, paint, leather, glass, rubber, nylon and plastic, the frames of the different bicycles have been welded together. The seats are suspended on nylon straps with aluminium buckles which incorporate four metal springs under each seat. There is abraded and burned paint next to the welded joints of the frame; this is a result of the manufacture process and the artist wishes this to remain. The inscriptions in white paint on the black Pederson parts (PATT No.s 2-7) indicate how the original Pederson had to be cut up and reconfigured during construction.

Upon acquisition, the work was structurally in good condition. All the welded joints are structurally strong. Rust is present on various metal elements and there is also a rusty screw on the back fender. The front fender is dented. The various bicycle parts had already aged before the work was constructed and the artist noted in the interview of October 2005 that he is happy with the work in its current condition. The work should be dusted before and during display if necessary and grease should be left to ensure that the Pederson remains in working order.

For display, the work should be lent against a wall, resting on the handle bars. The tyres should be pumped up and then deflated for transportation or storage.

Bryony Bery
October 2005