Inherent Sin, 2009

Temporary Public Artwork

I devised and commissioned a series of temporary public artworks for northcabin between 2007-2008. Based in a small semi-circular operating cabin on Redcliffe Bridge, Bristol the programme was developed to give emerging artists the chance to make new work for an architecturally unusual space.

northcabin opened up the possibility for other individuals and organisations to use the space for the display of contemporary visual art and is now part of Capacity Bristol: Temporary Use of Empty Buildings Programme.

northcabin was funded by Arts Council South West, Bristol City Council, University of the West of England, Spike Island Associates and Alias. The bursary programme was supported by Interface at AN.

Inherent Sin

Gary O’Connor began by researching the history of Redcliffe Bridge and the surrounding area. He became particularly interested in the period when the bridge was built, which was at the outbreak of the Second World War. From this initial research he developed a piece of short prose, which formed the backbone of his commission and extended into the physical space of the cabin. The prose, which was written before articulating the physical installation, began with contemplating the cabin’s situation and the dark murky waters below, and associating these with conjured thoughts of intrigue, suspense and mystery. The work introduced a sense of theatre into the space; whilst at the same time explored its historical context and its relationship to the surrounding landscape.

About the site

northcabin was based in a disused operating cabin on Redcliffe Bridge. The bridge was erected in 1939 and replaced a ferry, which connected Redcliffe with the City Centre of Bristol. The north cabin still contains the disused machinery that used to operate the bridge, which is now electronically controlled from the south cabin. Redcliffe is located in the old harbour district of the city, once a bustling district it now serves as a transitory space between the centre and the suburbs. The space provides an intersection between road, river, and pedestrian routes.

Inherent Sin, 2009, Gary O'Connor, part of northcabin. Photo: Max McClure.
Inherent Sin, 2009, Gary O'Connor, part of northcabin. Photo: Max McClure.
Inherent Sin, 2009, Gary O'Connor, part of northcabin. Photo: Max McClure.