Pieces of Place - The Hoffman Brick as an Urban Artefact

Part of Radiant Pavillion Jewellery festival @ Mr Kitly, Brunswick; featuring Sarah Heyward, Kim Jaeger, Kate Hill, Emma Grace, Lindy McSwan & Andy Hutson.
August 2017

October 3, 1870 - It is an unusually hot day. An unknown labourer digs a lump of mud from a clay pit, under the shadow of the newly erected brickworks. He flings a shovel load of dense earth into the trolley cart. The intense heat of the day is made greater by the warmth radiating from the huge industrial kiln towering over him. As he wipes the sweat from his grimy brow, he observes the stripes of ochre that run horizontally through the hole at his feet.

April 16, 1943 – A feeling of profound freedom rushing though him, Albert Hofmann pushes forward on his bicycle, enjoying the feeling of the wind against his skin on this sunny Spring afternoon. As he turns a corner, he unexpectedly loses his balance and falls into the garden of a neat, pretty house. Dazed, he groggily rises to his feet, and notices a brick half-buried in the turf. He picks it up; looks at the house, and as if feeling the need to disrupt this image of complete perfection, immediately hurls it through the window. He marvels at the intensely beautiful music of the shattering panes as they tinkle to the ground, and is overwhelmed by a sensation of pure abandon and, simultaneously, the euphoria of pointless protest.