Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dancing with Lusi

A beautiful dawn over Auckland, a blessing, singing and a smattering of champagne opened the Harbourview Sculpture Trail. 

Dawn over the city
Blessing the trail
Dawn by Doug Kennedy

Navigation Point by Jenny McLeod

Scotch Thistle by Trish Clarke

Pods by Carol Robinson

Wind Drift by Jeff Thomson

Rainforest by Justin Murfitt

Mangroves by Dermot Kelly

Westerlings by Phillipa Kenny (one of our artist angels from the installation)

Catching the dawn light

The piece looked completely magical with the dawn light bouncing off the water and through the transparent fabric.

With the approach of Cyclone Lusi, many of the artists exhibiting at the Harbourview Sculpture Trail, including me, decided to make arrangements to ensure that our sculptures were safe. 

For me, this meant getting into a shortie and lifejacket,  swimming out to the structure and removing the two tallest pieces for the weekend. A particularly lovely thing to do in a silty, swampy lake! 

Messing about in the water
However it turned out to be a blessing as the tube which had been sent in error (see last posting for details) and was the wrong size, had started to fail anyway and this gave us a chance to replace the perspex tubes with aluminium ones which will be much stronger.  We were lucky that the local DIY shops had tubes of exactly the right dimensions so that the fixings did not have to be replaced as well. The staff member who saw us looking quizzically at the tubing, being a good customer service guy, came over and asked what we were looking for and could he help. Now, I am wary of starting conversations like this as it is normal for us, as textile artists, to be looking at materials as supplies for a completely non-standard use which throws the staff. So I often fudge the answer or just say, no, I’m fine thanks. The look that comes over a shop assistant’s face when you ask for metal sheet and then discuss, whether it is possible to stitch through it. Know what I mean? In this case, it turned out that he was more than familiar with such requests having helped with the opening display of the Sydney Olympics amongst other things and was very used to working with designers whose needs are slightly unusual. 

Walking in the tail end of the cyclone

Fortunately the cyclone had lost most of it’s power by the time it passed over Auckland and was no more than a blowy, stormy day, which made for a fun walk on the beach, but was nowhere near as dangerous as it had been.
On Sunday morning, with the sun back out and the wind abated, we headed back to Te Atatu to reinstall the two elements of ‘Light Dancing’ we had taken out. Of course replacing the elements was a much larger job than taking them down and provided early visitors to the trail with plenty of amusement watching me flop around in the water for a couple of hours. 

Light Dancing fabric sculpture by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden
Light Dancing

Light Dancing fabric sculpture by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden
More ...

Light Dancing fabric sculpture by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden
And more.

Light Dancing fabric sculpture by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden
 About enough now!
 It is now looking all present and correct again so we can relax.

Making outdoor textile work is a fascinating development for me and I hope to be selected for other outdoor events. Each one will no doubt bring new interests and challenges. 

I said that I would spend some time reviewing my feelings about ‘Light Dancing’, maybe I will come back to that later, or maybe you can make up your own minds.

View from across the water

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