Billy 2004

Simone Ten Hompel (born 1960, Bocholt, Germany)

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Copyright: Copyright The Artist; Photo: Mike Davidson, Positive Image / Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums

Ten Hompel has an extraordinary ability to create poetic form with metal. She refers to metal as her first language, finding it easier to express herself in metal than in words. Her work re-interprets our conventional views of tableware. Billy references the traditional billy can the accepted vessel for boiling water over an open camp fire, used by labourers and vagrants. These cans were disposable and would be made of an inexpensive metal. Ten Hompel has created a larger than life billy can from gilding metal, making it appear more precious by adding a fine surface of palladium leaf. The very size and diameter of the vessel hint at a massive, heavy object, with a generous capacity. However on closer inspection the white metal tray is shallow, holding a limited amount of liquid and the main body is a hollow cylinder. All of her work has a quality of the unexpected. Here the cylinder is not quite straight and the application of the palladium leaf is imperfect. There is an immediacy about her work as if her hands have just left the metal, forming a direct contact between maker and the future owner of the piece. Her handling of metal and the concepts behind this have had a profound effect on contemporary domestic objects and tableware.

Acquisition Details

Acquired from The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 2004
Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland which was originated and operated 2003-2006 by the Contemporary Art Society and supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council.
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