Maybe it’s a metaphor for life: a very short beginning, a very short end, and a huge middle bit where lots of stuff seems to be happening." David Shrigley

Beginning, Middle and End is a temporary work by David Shrigley made using two tonnes of unfired clay.

Shrigely made the piece, which resembled a long sausage, anew in each gallery on the tour with the help of a team of volunteers.

In this short film, you can watch as students brought Shrigley's Beginning, Middle and End piece to life in Guadalajara, Mexico.

© Beginning, Middle and End uses two tonnes of unfired clay. © Carlos Jimenez
© The clay is made into one continuous sausage, approximately 400 metres long. © Carlos Jimenez.

The process

'In the week before the exhibition opens to the public, young art students came and received instructions from David about how to form this endless looping sausage, and they went to work, joining up the many pieces of clay.

It was much like kindergarten play, affixing one to the next. The only rules were that the sausage had to be continuous, that you wouldn't be able to see the beginning or the end; just lots and lots of middle.

Over the course of the exhibition, it broke down, and cracks formed. The idea was that the work itself would degenerate before being destroyed at the end of the exhibition and then re-made again when we moved onto our next touring venue.'

Katrina Schwarz, British Council Curator