In order to collaborate on small clay sculptures Dunhill and O’Brien constructed a long bench so that they could take turns in modelling and sculpting the same clay form. Each artist was designated 20 minutes in which to work before the clay form was conveyed by a pulley device to the other end of the bench.
Faced in turn with the already partly modelled form they found themselves compelled to completely alter and deface the other’s work until it was once again recognisably their own. Inevitably they could not agree upon when to finish making the work, each preferring their own latest efforts.
The Useful Bench is a souvenir of this working process. At timed intervals a plasticene lump slowly travels via a motor along a shelf in front of a miniature billboard with a projected image of the artists at work.