Annoyed with myself for not having really considered the sound in the installation. I realised this week that I couldn't have. I hadn't gathered enough material. With Paul agreeing to talk I have got the confidence and ideas to go and pick the sounds. The crane slewing bell, that repeated mobile phone ring I keep hearing, J&M Morrison's lyrics (boom shakka lakka) in my head these are all starting to link together. Tomorrow I talk to the media guy at the Herbert for his advice on the recording and editing.
With only 8 weeks before the opening the studio is now plastered with wet prints and the box dimensions have been delivered to Rob who is building my boxes. My first 'employee' and a good reminder that I can't do all of the work for these projects on my own now with family committments, much less time and with out all the neccessary skills. Admin is taking up time too, writing interpretative text sorting out another CRB check. So it feels good to have the prints underway, but difficult to envisage them together in three dimensions in my studio- which is a fraction of the size of the gallery. Next job to book a space to set them out and view from a far.
Flood warnings in the Midlands didn't instill hopes for a successful day on site this week. The rainwater slowed down the site, but sparked great conversations with people sheltering under the cabin stairs. Paul agreed to be my first interviewee for the soundtrack, and offered me his biscuits in case of flood on the train line home. Compensation for a damp sketchbook. The Dutch have gone,leaving Rachel to wallow in her love of white precast concrete (the only woman on site) the Germans have moved in to put on the roof. The electricians, still singing, were keen to establish which ones of them have been drawn. They all noticed that I'd drawn some of them without hats …something I've been asked not to do ..against health and safety.None of them noticed my rucksack bulging with their old cable reels or seemed to read the conversations noted on page corners.
Tomorrow back in the studio I finish off the two prints for the boxes, The handmade paper arrived and the dimensions figured out.
The tall Dutch builders (seemingly the only ones on site) informed me they were there to do a ‘little job’…putting the concrete slabs in place.(the supports and walls of the whole new building!) A quietly active site to draw in the morning. In the afternoon this week, Beryl in the Coventry Archives kept me supplied with blueprints of the original build and programmes for the opening. Details of workers in Coventry in 1936-37 and more about Alfred Herbert fed my intrigue and will provide great images for the installation. Elements are slowly coming together. Its frustrating that there is not enough time to explore the avenues that are opening up. The Polish links, Herbert’s links with industrial paternalism and social clubs and the connections with the workers on site.
The studio smells of hot glue and etching ink.The wall is covered with lists of on numbers on site. Returning to wood to card idea we’re trying for sponsorship for the card so I can get someone to construct more complicated boxes – and still keep within budget.