WASTE MAN was made over a six-week period at the end of summer 2006 out of about 30 tonnes of waste materials that had been gathered by the Thanet waste disposal services and by local people, and deposited in Dreamland, the area of Margate next to the sea and close to the station that had traditionally been the site of a vast funfair.
Some works are made in wax to be cast in bronze; this was made in domestic waste to be cast in fire.
For me this work was a collective body (similar to HAVMANN or the ANGEL OF THE NORTH) made from the raw materials of people's home lives - beds, tables, dining chairs, toilet seats, desks, pianos and rubbish (all the limiting baggage of the householder), transformed into energy.
The work plays a part in Penny Woolcock's Margate Exodus, a re-telling of the Bible story of the enslavement and liberation of the Jewish people. For Penny Woolcock this sculpture was an image of the burning bush that gave Moses his mission. For me it was more a sign of those who had been dispossessed or refused a place, standing up defiantly to be recognised. The piece burnt in 32 minutes, sending showers of sparks over the crowd of spectators.