Bronze sculpture. Bill Woodrow's 'Sitting On History' was purchased for the British Library by Carl Djerassi and Diane Middlebrook in 1997.
Sitting on History, with its ball and chain, refers to the book as the captor of information which we cannot escape
Woodrow was one of a number of British sculptors to emerge in the late 1970s onto the international contemporary art scene, others include: Richard Deacon and Tony Cragg..
Woodrow's early work was made from materials found in dumps, used car lots and scrap yards, partially embedded in plaster and appearing as if they had been excavated. He went on to use large consumer goods, such as refrigerators and cars, cutting the sheet metal and allowing the original structure to remain identifiable, with the cut-out attached as if by an umbilical cord to the mother form. Collecting all manner of things, altering them and giving them a new context, allowed Bill Woodrow an element of narrative in his work.
In the 1990s, he began to make work in bronze, the stories remained, such as in a seminal work - In Awe of the Pawnbroker, 1994 - in which the meaning of the pawnbroker's symbol is unravelled. This sculpture has a number of elements that add up to what is virtually an installation. One of three artists selected to make a sculpture for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square for the year 2000, Woodrow chose to explore a recurring theme in his work, the destruction of our planet and the insistent strength of nature over man.