Thursday, 22 April 2010

The wheel comes off

I spent the last two weeks running all over London getting metal engraved and then welded together as well as picking up Frame mouldings spray paint and glues. In the middle of the week I went to see family with Jamie and even took work with me to do in my fathers garage.

After dropping off Jamie on the Saturday night I spent the rest of the day in the studio completing the frames and stands ready to take to Spurn in the morning. Once at Spurn at around 11am following a brief stop in Hull to source more materials including lighting tape and spray I met two of Andrews assistants who informed me there was no Andrew due to him being stuck in Poland because of the volcanic ash. Several phone calls later and several trips up and down the point I finally managed to locate the spare set of keys for the lighthouse.

I spent the first part of the day spray painting and then cleaning up the frames, leaving them in the Nisan hut for Andrew to do with what he wants on his return. I had hoped to put them into the ground this weekend but with him being in Poland meant this was not possible. I resolved to leave them for him to decide.

Once inside the lighthouse I got to work sweeping out the first two levels followed by taking all of the plastic bottles the gabion and the light to the first floor where I played with the arrangement for some time and concluded I needed more bottles but that it would work once the windows were covered up. I measured them up and left as it was now 6pm and I was hungry and tired.

The following day I managed to fill 50 sandbags in the artillery building as well as strip back some of the bracken covering the door and remove some of the litter covering the sand. I need to think about this space a little more and how I will present the bullets. I did a reconnaissance as to the best rout to bring the bullets in through and concluded that the distances were the same in either direction but that bringing the bullets in via the road up to the Pilots station would be the smoothest route.

Upon leaving the Point I heard a squeaking noise that briefly came form the axle area, but as I was passing over the temporary road I thought nothing more of it as it stopped once on smooth ground, the following night at midnight as I returned to London I was just hitting the M25 when my front drivers side wheel baring exploded and my wheel sheered off. I was lucky to get the van to a stop unhurt and lucky there was no one else around at that time on the motorway. I finally arrived home at 3am on the back of an AA recovery van. Not the most successful end to the week.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Wet & Wild

Got up early and started in the Light house at 7.30am. heavy rain to start the morning followed by Strong winds for the wrest of the day. Had many visitors all of whom were grateful for the shelter.

Several visitors mentioned a dear outside asking if he was mine (haha). The dear had also been around the day before.

In the end I managed to make a further 4 bullets bringing me to my total of 13, I hope its not unlucky as there are no spares. I tidied up got all of my equipment out then treated myself to visit to the top of the Light house. I had forgotten just how many room there were, how many steps and just how magnificent the view is. The building seems even bigger once up at the top. The added height above the beach on top of the dunes amplifies the feeling. i counted myself very lucky to be there at that exact moment alone at the top of my light house.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Lighthouse information point

I spent the whole day in the lighthouse making the bullets and receiving guests. It was quiet in the morning due to the rain but then became very busy in the afternoon.

I went to fill up with water at the RNLI depot and bumped into the lifeboat captain who shook me by the hand slapped me on the back and said that he taught the stones were great and that I was welcome to do anything I wanted around the Lifeboat houses. I explained it was probably a bit late. These kind words got me through the wrest of the day while I received yet more guests, all of whom knew who I was and had heard about the bullets. It doesn't take long for news to travel especially when the cafe is open.

Several people took my photograph while I was working one even stopping me and asking me to look at the camera, all rather funny.

Today I manged to make 6 in total leaving me a further 4 tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Straight up start up

Left London at 6.30am and headed north. After a couple of minor stops to refuel myself and the van I got to Spurn at 11, met Andrew ant the gate had a good chat in the spring sunshine and took the keys for the lighthouse. Andrew ind=formed that Adrian (previous artist) was on the Point but unfortunately I missed him.

Once at the light hose I swept out the lower level and then unloaded the van. Andrew arrived with two barrels of water and then went upstairs to lock off the stairway to the top.

I spent the next six hours making three casts and chatting to around two dozen people who all wanted to come in and have a look around. Everyone from families to foreigners to scousers. The last in the list asking me not to let any Everton supporters in (class).

I took a look up at the low light room in the tower and its perfect for the gabion light as its smaller than downstairs (obviously) and also painted in black, so I just need to block out the window light. At 6.30 I packed up and headed for the farm, where Andrew was in the Kitchen chatting with the owners Sue and Andrew. I turned down a cuppa in order to get out to the pub and a dinner that bit sooner.

Tomorrow will be a slog, but worth it.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Rain rain go away

After I finished work on Wednesday I went to the studio to do some tidying up then home to eat. Thursday morning I went to Shoeburyness to collect all of the metal work for the stands and from there I immediately drove to Alain's workshop in Highgate to drop it off. Alain did a great price for all of the lettering (£100) on all eight box sections. I said I would drop off the prototype on Saturday when out with James, so that Alain could match the type set and style. Alain is the man to know and does amazing work for a number of artists as well as one off medical and government commissions.

Thursday night after taking Jamie to football practice I went to a friends open at Matt Roberts gallery on Vyner Street then home to send out invites and emails.

I spent the whole of Good Friday in the studio cleaning plastic bottles and filling the remaining gabion. I am somewhat short but this is not urgent. I constructed an inner cavity so that a light can be placed in the centre without touching the plastic. I used a fine metal mesh and wire I had stored in one of my treasure chests. I always feel smug when I finally find a use for some materials Ive had stored since I (usually) found them after someone else had discarded.

I took the steel mesh 1inch gage and 3mm wire and began cutting it into 60/60cm squares for the base of the stands. I used a jigsaw which worked better than I could have hoped for and once cut down the mesh went from being very flexible as seen in the pic to rather rigid, which is ideal.

I cut the very end off the groin I found so that it now stands on end. I wrestled with ideas about how to present this or frame it, flat piece of white board on the floor with the spike lying down or standing proud? on a white plinth? On a plinth made of found materials, drift wood and steel? I will try a few things and take it to Spurn on my next visit with the finished Bottle/ light/ gabion sculpture.

Saturday i spent with James and my parents. I managed to drop off the prototype and after dropping off Jamie I filled the van ready for the early start to Spurn at 5am in the morning.