The Carrier's Prayer

A different kind of space, one of worship rather than cultural presentation, is the setting for a second major work, The Carriers' Prayer. In a sparse and run-down chapel stands a mass of thin anthropomorphic white shapes. As the camera cuts to a close up it is revealed that these forms are made from plastic shopping bags, torn open and tied together.

One by one the tips begin to glow and ignite, and upwards into the roof-space shoot globules of molten plastic and flame, accompanied by whooping and screeching as the bags gradually burn down to stumps.

The effect is both startling and deeply affecting. Immediate associations with ecstatic and fevered religious congregations slipping over into the fanatical are joined by the particular references to social deprivation and delinquency in the North West of England. These ropes of knotted-together bags, known locally as 'scally fireworks', were not invented by the artists but by children playing with the detritus of our consumer culture.

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