Later the same week I spent the day onsite with Annemarie O’Sullivan who is supporting me with her expertise and experience as a basket maker and willow artist who has made large scale work previously. Annemarie raised some valuable points and throughout the day we distilled the focus onto one piece which will float and drift (we tested this out) in the centre of the lake attached to an anchor.
This combines all the elements of the idea for me as we will make it on the grass above the lake – then roll it physically into the lake. (this is an adaptation as I had hoped to leave the forms for the public to roll, but as the oak strips will become too fragile as they dry this will simply destroy the forms before they can be fully explored.) Once in the lake we can attach it to a raft made out of palettes which with the weight of the structure will sit just below the surface largely unseen. Then we will swim or tow it out to the centre of the lake, drop the anchor and leave it to drift. Annemarie is keen on swimming I am keen on boating!
I have made a presentation to the volunteers and staff at Ashburnham Place appealing for help with making the structures and will see what interest develops. I am planning a revolution workshop in June which will be followed by a fire pit and resonance this will be an event to which public and particular people or groups such as Blue Monkey Network will be invited as an opportunity to show and talk about the project, the process and the work.
footnote – the idea of an anchor is so exciting and since drafting this post Ashburnham Place have found an old anchor they had in the workshop I can use. This is perfect and I am now familiar with anchor knots and how to prevent anchors from becoming stuck with snapped ropes thanks to several kayaking/fishing you tubers.
The anchor has a deep association and meaning for me, excuse the pun, I have often been told to trust my inner ‘rudder’, my gut reaction, my instinct. The anchor is also a very evocative link for me to my mother who died late last year – she loved hardware like this and her funeral was full of references to boats, water and the sense of transformation. I feel very protective of the anchor Ashburnham have given me to use and have spent some time making sure I can retrieve it after the project is over. What goes down must provide security and stability for the life of the project, but also must come back up in order to move on…. a cycle, a rotation, a transformation.