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By: Rebecca Glover
From the drawing board to the opening night, this blog will cover the realisation of my proposal for the market estate project.
# 8 [12 March 2010]
So Its all finished! The building is now being slowly taken apart and along with it will go my blue spikes.
Despite knowing the event was only ever going to be one day I still feel a little sad to say goodbye to my blue monster. So much work went into it and I felt as though I needed a little bit more time just to sit with it and look at what I had made.
My first reaction once it was complete was a mixture of glowing pride and shock. It was both terrifying and beautiful!
I feel energised, as though the project helped me focus in a way I havent done in quite some time. I finally began to work in the way I've been dreaming of for ages.
I have dreams to realise but right now I'm working at bringing my feet back down to the ground. Moving flat and studio. There are a few projects hovering in the air and I will be sure to write about them as and when they come.
Right now is time for a little quiet.
# 7 [1 March 2010]
A few more days to go and for the first time I actually think I'm going to manage to finish it all in time for the opening!
The estate is really coming to life. New people and bits and peices of art keep popping up all over the place and each one is exciting to look at. I can't make my mind up whether to wander round now or to save it all for saturday.
I feel so priveleged to be part of this amazing project and despite the occasional ridiculously frustrating day I've thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Its hard to envisage all the difficulties before hand and so I had several days where I wished i was born with 4 pairs of arms, at least two of those much longer than the rest, and a variety of thicknesses would also be handy!
I've been lucky enough to have a fair amount of help from my mates, on some days there's been a busy production line of whittlers, and painters preparing all the spikes so I can continue to install them upstairs. I'm not so sure I could'va managed without them!
Only 3 full days work ahead!
# 6 [26 February 2010]
The estate is grim, and i often leave there at the end of the day feeling exhausted both by the hard work and the building itself. Its filthy, every day the lift stinks of urine and if i choose to take the stairs I'm greeted by a pile of week old vomit...nice alternative to pee sometimes! Just the other day however I was greeted by a pleasant surprise.
I made a visit to my next door flat and was stunned, it was like stepping into a palace!(perhaps the contrast with its surroundings elevates its grandeur) but this flat was immaculate. Every inch of it was cared for and this even though its a small thing, stood out like a sore thumb and gave me hope!
Its sad that the communal areas of this state are so filthy but what makes more of an impression on me is that someone living in this place would make such an effort to create a beautiful place to live. Feels a bit like a beam of sunshine in the grottiest most miserable place.
Come visit and you will understand!
# 5 [20 February 2010]
Its been another busy week and after a few days where i felt like i was banging my head against a brick wall I finally felt like i could see what I wanted. That doesnt really make working out how to get there much easier, but it certainly helps to have a sense of direction.
I had a few friends come and help out a little and that made a world of difference. Handing over even some of the smaller jobs allows a bit more space to focus on the main task at hand. I had a small production line going and felt a warm glow of pride at all their fine work and willingness to help!
The second phase is harder than the first and this week has all been prep for the big stuff. I feel like I've still got to really bite the bullet and dive in with the new section of instalation and I hope I have the courage to do that tomorrow!
# 4 [15 February 2010]
Another day on site and I have almost completed the first phase of the installation.
No matter how much planning i do there will always be something that doesnt happen quite right. I secretly enjoy the challenge that sets me. The frustration of something not quite working and then the intense focus required to make it succeed.
I feel like I have been waiting the past 6 months for something like this to give me that sense of focus. Deadlines are great for focusing your mind intently.
I feel as though I am completely alert, ready to problem solve and step up to the challenge of the task i've set myself. It will work but will take a lot of effort to get there.
Tomorrow I may not have this optimism the cold does wear you down afte a while.
# 3 [10 February 2010]
All my materials are in the flat and I have begun the preparation of the first section of the wall. carefully peeling back the wonderfully dated wallpaper and beginning to chip away at the surface.
The excitement of whats to come battles against the freezing cold and all work grinds to a stop as my hands become numb and the light begins to fade.
This week there are more artists on site and its exciting to meet them all and hear about their projects.
The organisers are also very enthusiastic and happy to see that after all the hard months of prep the creativity is growing!
# 2 [7 February 2010]
The project at the Market Estate is beginning to get underway and even with a month still to go before the opening there is already excitement in the air!
Higgins, the contracting company, is sponsoring the event and has agreed to donate some scrap materials to some of the artists. So the other day I spent a good few hours scavenging bits of wood and tubing from the local building site.
With enough materials gathered and still not a penny spent, I got to see my space for the first time. As it was quite a spectacular day the flat seemed surprisingly inviting with light streaming in through every window. It’s an odd space however and it feels strange to sit in a home that has only very recently been vacated. The few things left behind are like ghostly threads to someone’s story. A photograph of a young girl, yellowed lace curtains, a missing button and a £25 dept on the electricity meter.
A few days later, but this time without the sunshine, I spent some hours drawing in the space. Working out ideas for the positioning of the sculpture is harder than I expected if i'm going to appease the worries of the councils’ Health and Safety advisors.
# 1 [2 February 2010]
My proposal was rushed together last minute over a very long and busy night. I never expected once that I might actually get the project I was fantastically dreaming up.
A few weeks later however I found out I was shortlisted and was required to submit some further details. I had a meeting with the organisers and discovered that there would be some serious health and safety inssue with my proposal and although they liked it I would have to really reconsider how I was going to make it.
There was a worry about asbestos in the walls and so demolishing walls was out of the question, the walls were also concrete so my little arms would struggle to smash them in the way I wanted...so there I was again back at the drawing board. I was very quickly gettiing over my excitement and realising I had dreamed up a proposal that I really had no idea how to make!
After a few tests and lots of thinking I came up with the new proposal that actually got me the project.
It still is a nightmare for HS and I am still out my depth but where is the excitement in playing safe. I love the idea and will work as hard as possible to make it work in the space I get given.
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