© The Artist


Catherine Yass (1963 – )


13.5 X 16 X 4 CM
Accession number


Camden Arts Centre commissioned this work I think as a kind of extension to their bookshop, and there’s a space when you come into the hallway which is like an alcove-shaped cabinet. I made this work for Camden because they were displaying a series of multiples, so in a way I made it for a little show. I suppose I knew that the people buying them might be buying them for their homes and not galleries, it’s a bit of a different audience and it also means that the image is looked at in a different time – where it can be looked at privately not actually going out to look at it.

As the work I make is quite bulky and big it means I’m stuck with certain parameters; if you do a multiple it’s more versatile. It’s nice to make something that doesn’t cost absolutely tons, and where you can be a bit more experimental or casual. This is the smallest light box I could find. One reason why I liked making them is because I work with five by four (inch) transparencies and the multiple is five by four so it’s as though (the image) hasn’t been blown up at all. The printed piece is one size and the multiple relates to the original. I suppose it’s ironic if the multiple is related to the original because part of the point of a multiple is that it’s not the original. There are only five in the edition as I wanted to get all the copies made at the same time because colour can really change. The image is from Port Talbot Steel Works and was a commission from a photo gallery in Cardiff. The steel works are really huge – it’s the biggest place I’ve ever photographed. It goes on for miles and when you’re inside its huge. I’m usually more interested in the psychological aspects of architecture when I’m making work but in this case it seemed really physical because it was all about heat and light. I was confronted with having to grapple with being too hot or feeling tiny; and all of these really physical things. It’s interesting that I decided to make the final image small considering how huge the actual space was.

Multiplication, The British Council 2001