A temporary art installation shown at various venues on the Lincolnshire Coast during summer 2007. Comprising a giant deckchair, large beach umbrella, giant bucket and spade it examines the contemporary appetite for travel and nostalgia. Free postcards of the piece are given to viewers contributing to a log about the ideas behind the work. This is stage one of an ongoing project inspired by my curiosity in how we locate ourselves spatially and temporally.
This entry relates to Anderby Creek on the 18th and 19th August.
Weather: Miserable. Outlook for today: Not great. Location: Anderby Creek. Weekend's Figures: Comments log entries 14, People photographed in the work 23, estimated viewers 68.
Anderby Creek is a small coastal hamlet with a glorious expanse of beautiful beach, there are no other distractions so on miserable overcast days it can be quiet, but as someone who has lived in the area for the last twenty years, Anderby is great on any day as long as you are dressed for the weather. However I was not expecting large crowds and did not get them, but what I did get on the 18th was rich vein of opinions from people who have second homes in Anderby, who spent considerably longer than the normal five minutes with the work and in conversation. Their comments and a large selection of comments from the project log for all locations can be read at http://www.malcolmtait.co.uk/forum.htm
On the second day the weather deteriorated and my bronzed look of last weekend took on the mantle of Gormley's rust encrusted long weathered Angel of the North. Today with little engagement I developed plans to generate larger temporary exhibitions for the beach for coming years. It can be a difficult arena to work in with the strong sea breeze and wind. Strong winds can have safety implication for the work and I need to try to develop a release mechanism for the large parasol cover for next year, at present all I can do in really strong winds is fold the parasol down and restrain it in the closed position.
This entry relates to Skegness on the 11th and 12th August.
Weather: Glorious. Outlook for today: Brilliant. Location: Skegness. Today's Figures: Comments log entries 58, People photographed in the work 312, estimated viewers 6000.
When the weather is good there is no better place to be…. the beach at Skeggy. The weekend was a real buzz, lots of positive feedback, and I am beginning to take on the look of a bronzed Adonis with all the sun…….well I'm bronzed!
We had lots of people taking photographs at the weekend but for many the work almost became like a free tourist attraction and it was difficult to engage many with the ideas behind the work. To overcome this I have started work on another piece to add to the installation, a 1950's transistor radio, scaled up like the other pieces, hollow inside it will house a modern sound system which will play on a loop system the comments left so far by people on travel, nostalgia and the other ideas behind the work and also extracts from well know travel books. This will possible not be finished in time for the present project but the work will be on show at another location in September and it will be ready for then. Where the work is located engagement can be difficult as viewers busy holiday schedules and children in tow, but as we alter ideas and strategy we are engaging more and more.
Weather: Overcast and stiff breeze blowing from the sea. Outlook for today: not optimistic. Location: Skegness. Today’s Figures: Comments log entries 10, People photographed in the work 87, estimated viewers 800.
To encourage interaction with the piece I have altered the signs we have around the piece, small children can be photographed in the bucket or pretending to dig with the spade. Public Liability Insurance limitations mean people cannot sit on the deckchair.
The log with people’s thoughts on travel and nostalgia is beginning to grow the following are a couple from today.
1. "Travel has shown me that we all want the same things, no matter what language we speak, what colour we are, or religion we follow and the more we travel the more we understand ourselves."
2. Pure escapism from the everyday chores of life! Now and then we need time to do nothing but sit back and reflect on what’s really important in life, whilst recharging our batteries.
The response to the project from those who engage with the work is very positive, today just north of and overlooked by the Pier the work was seen by many, I still need to try to engage more people. One problem is that many people think the piece is a tourist money making venture where I charge money to take peoples photographs on the giant deckchair, and so give it a wide berth. (If the art career doesn’t work out I have probably discovered as new sideline!)
This stage of the project is now in its third week. Our expectation for audience numbers have not been realized in one section. The comments we are receiving are very positive but fewer than expected. The viewing numbers because of location are excellent but interaction we planned for has fallen short of expectation. What we have discovered however is that in these tourist locations many people are photographing themselves and their family within the installation. So with four week still to run we are going to try to develop this form of interaction with the work.