Tundra, 1975 I think that times had changed from the hopeful ‘60’s, the age of Kennedy, the idea of sending an astronaut into space and it had changed into something much more earthy, something much more rooted in our problems. And I think that sort of, I’m not going to say hope, because I think that there’s hope in the later sculptures, but the idea that you can get outside it all and put down your dream like that. Somehow it has be a little bit more to do with us and the lives that we live and what we have for breakfast and so on.
[images of Toronto Flats, 1974, filmed at The Ashmolean, Oxford] Well, oddly enough I made it here but it came very much out of my working in Canada for a short time. I had gone to Italy and made sculptures with soft ends and then a Canadian dealer, David Mirvish from Toronto, said to me “If you would like to work with thicker, heavier steel I know somebody who has a steel yard and a factory and I’m sure he would make it available to you”, and he did. And I worked there for three or four weeks and then went back again and again and again and again and Tundra happened to be made here but it came out of that world. Yes, you do respond to that and you can’t go and stuff coloured paint onto that or you’re just denying it. How much was it due to that and how much was it due to the condition of our lives, nd I can’t say what the answer to that is except that we are all the time informed by what it’s like to be around now. It felt as if saying it’s steel and allowing it to be steel, allowing it to be there, be what it really was, was the right thing to do at that time.