Catherine Cartwright, Exeter, UK, 2011 Catherine’s work can be found discreetly placed on a library book shelf at the Lit & Phil. Placed on top of a card board box, the bricks can be handled carefully by viewers to the exhibition.
‘Pile of Bricks’ is directly inspired by Julie Bruck’s poem ‘March 9, 2007 Al-Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad’. I pared down Julie Bruck’s poem to the words that describe the objects found by the man in the poem who searches for his teenage son in the bombed devastation of Al Mutanabbi Street. The words of the objects; ‘pink plastic flower, a pair of glasses, and a book with crisp, white pages’ were deeply moving to me and became etched on my mind. I aimed to create a book that could be handled and played with while the words were thought about, and in a form that would reflect on the impact of the bombing. The bricks are screenprinted MDF blocks that can be handled, built up and knocked down, for example as a house of cards, or layered as a pile of bricks. The paper-version of the book can be handled or hung. The feet movements on the back-side of these brick prints suggest the street’s living, daily activity and contrasts with the deadened bombed-out pile of bricks.