Ornaments of Prospect, Sculpture, Audio, Catalyst Arts, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2 March - 1 April 2023

Work in Ornaments of Prospect:

Ornaments of Prospect, 2023
01 tool steel, laser cutting, heat treatment, spring tempering. Set of 5.
Bolo, Memorial, Ebb, Dual, Gift

Nests, 2023
01 tool steel laser cutting. Set of 2
Bolo nest,  Variable nest

Machine Plaques, 2023
Damascus steel, laser engraving, etching; machine screws. Set of 6

Charms, 2023
01 tool steel, laser cutting. Set of 10
from Bolo, from Memorial, from Ebb, from Gift

Sound for a Future Fiction, 2023
Audio, looped

Ornaments of Prospect is an installation by collaborative duo Beau W Beakhouse and Sadia Pineda Hameed at Catalyst Arts. The installation sets out to reimagine tool making and methods of metal production, and how this might lead to collective and alternative modes of communication, knowledge and craft.

The installation expands on rural and agricultural use of tools, traversing alternative worlds of steel production and industrial backdrops of science fiction, to open a dialogue surrounding the complex and multiple approaches to tools, their manufacture and expanded use.

Through experiments in metalwork and heat treatment the duo investigate the potential of waste and the speculative futures that arise from skeletal cut outs rendered nonfunctional in the process of crafting tools. The work envisions the speculative tools and collaborations that can emerge from these spaces of absence, considering the new languages and actions that objects with an unknown function can unfold. The question what does a future look like in which tools are created without purpose? permeates the installation.

Tools and their use can also redefine hierarchies and create a foundation for considering anti colonial strategies of resistance, whilst acknowledging the complex role of tools in capitalist and western hands that utilise their designs as instruments of progress. Through reconceptualising the Filipino bolo, a tool used both for agriculture and warfare, the work in the exhibition questions how colonial tools can be subtly repurposed in small ways, remoulding ideas of profit, material maximisation, use and functionality.

Curated by Cecelia Graham, Director Catalyst Arts with accompanying text ‘The Consolation of Carpenters’

Supported Arts Council Northern Ireland and Jerwood Arts New Work Fund.

Photography by Simon Mills