Bryan Berue

Bryan Berue

Since graduating from Loughborough University in 1998 with a BA Hons in 3D Design, Bryan has been producing sculptural ceramics by casting from discarded packaging and other familiar household objects. These are collaged to form new entities, often taking a satirical look at consumerism and its influence on the environment.

Other sculptural work is thrown on the wheel and altered to create other-worldly forms influenced by nature. These could be seen, in conjunction with the cast works as belonging to a future alien world.

Bryan also produces wheel-thrown goblets, tea-bowls and housewares inspired by medieval European and Japanese/ Korean culture.

A Dead Bod – A History

In 1960 the United Towing Company’s steam tug The Englishman was awaiting orders in Falmouth harbour when it’s captain William (Tulip) Valentine Hopper came across an injured seagull that had crash landed on deck, with a broken wing. The Second Mate, Len (Pongo) Rood was sent ashore to buy two ice-lollies so the sticks could be used as splints to mend the stricken bird’s broken wing. Unknown to the rest of the crew the molly ( seaman’s lingo for a seagull) was placed in a cardboard box in the wheelhouse and fed on scraps for a couple of weeks until the skipper felt it was sufficiently recovered to fly again. Tulip and Pongo then placed the bird in the box in front of the wheelhouse to see if it would take flight. No sooner had they returned to the wheelhouse to witness the molly’s ascent when the Bosun, Bob came on deck in somewhat of a bad mood. He spotted the cardboard box and took a big kick, at which the box disintegrated and alas poor molly dispatched.

On their voyage back to Hull, Tulip, annoyed by his Bosun’s actions complained to anyone who’d listed about how he had nursed the seagull back to health. The Bosun kept out of the captain’s way but frequently chuntered, ‘All this fuss over a dead bod!’ to the rest of the crew.

When back in the Humber the tug was moored up at the jetty outside Alexandra Dock where most of the crew went ashore to see their families. After a few days Pongo and the engineer Gordon Mason had a pub crawl down Hedon Road before arriving at the jetty for their turn on watch. Somewhat merry, the pair procured a ladder, white paint and a brush from the tug, whereupon Pongo painted a giant image of a dead molly on its back with its feet aloft, whilst Gordon held the ladder steady against the shed. To make sure people understood what the image represented Pongo scrawled the Bosun’s words ‘A DEAD BOD’ underneath, and so the legend began.

 For many decades the graffiti could be seen right across the estuary from the shipping channels and soon became a rounding-up marker on the Humber for ships awaiting the tide to enter Alexander dock. When passing vessels needed to tell VTS their location on the estuary ‘Just passing Dead Bod’ was a common refrain.

The jetty fell into disrepair and the warehouse upon which Dead Bod had resided was listed for demolition along with the jetty, to make way for the new Siemens wind turbine factory. When the river workers heard of the dismantling of the Jetty a campaign was launched to save Dead Bod. With BBC Radio Humberside presenter Burnsy and Pongo’s family on board, Associated British Ports were persuaded to preserve the corrugated iron on which it was painted and in 2016 it was installed in the Humber Street Gallery café located in the old fruit market.

This representation of ‘A DEAD BOD’ is produced in porcelain using reclaimed speaker wire for the feet and is contained in an original, glue-less packaging design, both  handmade by PuNk PoTTeRy’s Bryan Berue.

£1 from every Dead Bod sold will be donated to The Humber Rescue, an independent charity stationed at the Humber Bridge.

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