Eric Bainbridge

Tales of Everyday Madness

I worried for weeks about where to meet Eric Bainbridge. I envisaged talking to him in surroundings that are significant for him and his work, somewhere that might lead our conversation in unexpected but fruitful directions. Should I travel up to Hartlepool, the town in the north-east shoulder of England near where he was raised, and where he now lives for part of the week in a cottage by the sea? Or would it be better to visit the art school in nearby Sunderland, where he has taught for the past nine years, and where his office currently doubles as a studio, allowing cups of tea and tangerines to drift into his sculptural combinations? When this became too complicated to arrange, I considered something closer to home: a trawl through London’s second hand shops, where I imagine he finds much of his raw material, or a trip to an out of town D.I.Y. store (it turns out that Greg Hilty already had this idea for an essay he wrote on Bainbridge’s work in 1990).1 Perhaps a market would be appropriate, or, given his interest in the global circulation of goods, a spot out on the Thames estuary where we could watch cargo ships dock and unstack their coloured metal containers. Read the rest of this entry »