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From early times bronze had close connections with magical and supernatural powers. Metals were linked to planets and to deities and bronze as an alloy represented the alchemists' powers of union. Bronze-workers often embodied a range of different roles; they were not only alchemists and bell-founders, but also gold-workers and weapons-engineers. The functional objects included in the catalogue of exhibits represent vessels which would have contained water, oil, perfume or gunpowder; they provided sounds and sights and smells. The interchangeability of fame and notoriety is well represented by a material which could be melted down and refashioned. Cannon became statues; statues became cannon. Though bronze may be seen as a traditional if not an old-fashioned material, it is still very much in evidence in contemporary work. This book was published to accompany the exhibition of the same name at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 15 September 2005 - 7 January 2006.
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