Fused by Stephen

Dilston Grove, London, 2014

The Mechanical Garden

Anne Bean and Richard Wilson initiated the event, Fused by Stephen, with touchpaper, which had, originally belonged to their friend, the pyrotechnic sculptor, Stephen Cripps (1953-1982). He had lived and worked in Butler’s Wharf at the same time that they had in the 1970’s. They enclosed this touchpaper (a paper impregnated with nitre, for setting light to fireworks or explosive substances) in a frame. Anne Bean lit this paper which then ignited slow burning fuse-wire running along the ceiling. This travelling spark was let out through the remote-controlled gallery doors and then it ignited fast burning fuse-wire, which raced towards and then fired off the fuses of several rockets on wires. These hurtled back toward the gallery, each impacting a large suspended gong, striking and sounding each one, echoing work that Stephen had done in the early 1980’s.