Tim Pearce’s response to Edward Wadsworth’s watercolour “Ladle-Slag, Old Hill 2” watercolour of 1919.
Wadsworth’s dynamic response to the debris left over from a Black Country steel-making process may well have been triggered by the powerful war-torn landscapes depicted by artists on the Western Front during the preceding four years. As such, this work, completed with other versions in the summer of 1919, can be seen to be amongst the first in Western Art to focus specifically on the theme of industrial waste. One hundred years on, I, like many artists, continue to discover expressive qualities in the detritus of our modern disposable society, with all its associated environmental concerns and implications.

The extent to which exhaust systems flatly refuse to stack neatly or systematically whilst in storage is of a particular fascination, their sinuous and tangled entrails recalling, for example, the twisted characteristics of exposed Hawthorn root forms. At the end of their lives, as they await recycling, these even more chaotically massed gatherings create a landscape like no other!
To view Edward Wadsworth’s watercolour, click here :