Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University

Waterfront Developments: SUNDERLAND

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TitleOfWork: 'The Red House' - letter
DateOfWork: 1993-94
Dimensions: lifesize
Medium: red sandstone
Location: Sunderland - Monkwearmouth
Country: UK - England
Photographer: Dave Ball
ImageCopyright: Sheffield Hallam University
AccessionNumber: 97~0440
FileSize: 126267
The text of the letter reads:
" The Red House,
Folly End (?)
Dear Peter,
The house is so empty without you. Only the fish are glad. Life is no use, now you've gone; nothing goes right, nothing works.
And you, how must it be for you? This bad for me, it must be worse for you, so far away. I go down to the water every day, just to touch it, to hope that you might be touching it too, that we can touch each other through the sea."

'Red House' was created from reclaimed stone from the Queen Alexandria Bridge in Sunderland. It is sited on an old industrial area which is now a housing estate. The piece shows fragments of a house and its contents. Chaz Brenchley wrote a story called 'Murder at the Red House' which was broadcast on local radio and which is available on cassette from the Artists' Agency. Elements from the story appear in physical form as carved sandstone objects. Although the bulk of 'Red House' is located in one place, fragments appear along the riverside path by the housing estate.

Part of the St Peter's Riverside Sculpture Project which began in 1989 with a feasibility study by the Artists' Agency, who have been based in Sunderland since 1983.

In December 1991 Colin Wilbourn was employed as sculptor in residence until May 1993. The residency and the project were eventually extended into 1997 with Karl Fisher being appointed as full-time assistant to Colin Wilbourn in 1992. In 1993 Chaz Brenchley was added to the team as crime writer in residence and at the end of 1994 Craig Knowles set up a working forge as artist-blacksmith. Work was carried out on site throughout the project.

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