Monday, 3 March 2014

Feel like dancing on light

What a weekend! Sunday 2nd March, the installation date for ‘Light Dancing’, was rushing towards me. As ever, working late was needed to complete the finishing touches which always seem to take much longer than anticipated. 

Floating structure for 'Light Dancing' being created
Management by collie - probably more effective than mine.
After a site visit a couple of weeks ago we realised that the original plan for installation (simply pushing long rods into the lake to support each section) was not going to work. Brian and I have worked out a plan for a tethered floating structure which will be invisible under the water yet hold everything upright and safe.This is slightly nerve wracking as theoretical plans are not the same as a known and tried solution, but it is my own fault for running behind on projects.

Installation day started rather cold and threatened to rain, so we planned for this, but typical NZ weather, in the end, it was a glorious day and sunburn ensued!

The main structure was re-constructed very quickly, even easier than IKEA furniture! Great we thought, we will be done in no time, home by mid afternoon even ....!!!

Oh for good intentions and hopeful thoughts.

Simon, Amber and Justice wondering what I am talking about

Getting there (slowly)

Perhaps it would look fine on land after all?!

Making the final adjustments to the taller pieces and fitting them took much longer than planned. This was primarily because the acrylic rods had not arrived on time (eventually I had collected them on the morning of installation), which meant cutting and fitting on site. Also, it turned out that they were not the correct size and one was smashed into two. So, different strategies and fittings were eventually worked out.

Once at the water side we were able to fit the tall pieces and get in the water to float the structure into place. This again was not as easy as hoped. The boat provided was more or less unsteerable and the lake seemed to have a current. 

Steering issues
Poor Brian was so tired that we began to wonder how we would be able to finish everything off.  Once we changed plan and moved forward a little so that the anchoring weights (concrete building blocks) were in, it was a case of swimming around to each corner and gradually adjusting the floats and weights until it was just right and seemed to be growing from the water, finally securing the ropes to the shore which prevent the structure tipping.

Floating at last

Putting down the anchors

Gratuitous 'bum shot' taken by a bored daughter

Almost done, but why does it look so much smaller in the water?

It was a very tired crew who got back well after dark. We will all deserve our champagne at the dawn ceremony on Saturday to open the event.

Thanks to Simon, our brilliant helper angel for the day and the other artists who saw we were low on lifting power and stopped working on their pieces to help us. I knew that daughters had boyfriends for some reason - to help me with projects of course! I don’t think he will forget the installation day in a hurry and I hope the pizza for supper was worth all the work.

Many, many thanks to everyone especially Brian who thought he married a scientist and then got landed with an artist who makes increasingly complex challenges on his engineering skills.

After all of the work and physical effort, I it good to remind myself of the intention behind the piece, and when I go back for the opening, I will assess whether I achieved this in the piece.

Light Dancing at dusk

Light Dancing

My statement for the piece reads:
The ripples and interferences between water, light and the movement of air connect the external world to the internal environment of our lives. The ever changing play and flicker of light on water is filled with resonances from our individual experience. We are each composed of many and varied streams and currents which flow, swirl and interact together. Life is movement from moment to moment; chance reflections and refractions create our internal landscape and develop our transcendental self. These are conveyed in the piece through a reflection of the gentle, understated colours and textures observed in the marsh landscape. The work connects in a delicately oblique fashion to the plant life, the water and the sky through the stainless steel fabric. The fabric appears physically delicate and ephemeral, yet it is actually strong, adaptable, resistant and sculptable. The colouring and subtle sheen of the metal replicate water and light in a unique and exciting manner. The fabric is in places treated by contorting and textured by plaiting, braiding, twisting, folding and layering. These treatments reflect the complexities of life, the textures and patterns seen in the native salt marsh grasses and the play of light across a liquid surface.

Your thoughts?

If you want to see the other sculptures on the trail go to:


Maggi said...

Alysn, it looks fantastic andI'm only sorry not too be able to see it for real. Well done to you all for soldiering on through all the problems.

Maggi said...

And apologies for the typos!

Lopdell House Gallery said...

It looked great at the opening. I had no idea of your explanation so it stood well alone without needed it. That to me generally makes art good. I've enjoyed seeing how it was all done. Thank you.

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