A sculpture was to be installed on the new island at Canada Water once the dock had been saved by the securing of a permanent water supply from the ground water. I had extensive consultation with the local community groups in the area and they were very keen to have something which had local relevance. they were tired of having corporate art imposed upon them and wanted something that reflected their heritage.
I wrote a brief which expressed this view and distributed it to various artists whose work I had seen elsewhere. After an initial submission of ideas, a shortlist was agreed and they produced maquettes of their work which went on display. Everyone involved in the project was invited to pick their favouriste and it was clear that the overall winner was the “Deal porters” by Philip Bews, and I issued a commission to him to proceed.
The piece shows the removal of timber from the ships warriving from Canada and elsewhere. One man lifted the end of the strap of timber; the other went straight to where th fulcrum point is and lifted it up on a sackcloth cushion on his shoulder. He then walks quickly to the dock edge, deposits the timer and returns for another piece. the work is agile, acrobatic and fast.