Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The final countdown to the show

Last Tuesday (20th September) saw Stella and I armed with paintbrushes and polyfiller ready to make good the walls of the Dover and 2K Galleries at Farfield Mill Arts & Heritage Centre. The lovely staff had already done most of the hole-filling from the previous show so it was a relatively quick job to fill the rest and run up and down ladders with the paint roller. We then assembled all the plinths kindly lent by the University of Cumbria and gave them a nice coat of white paint too. The following day saw us back and beginning the exciting process of actually hanging our work. The laser level was brought out just to confirm (yet again) that the walls of all galleries are never straight! We were glad that most of the work went up without the need to get the power drill out - drilling and plugging gallery walls is definitely not my favourite occupation.

Stella managed to have the most mountaineering to do with an ambitious plan to display her whitework pieces against a floor-to-ceiling painted red stripe. With the laser level abandoned we improvised a plumb bob with string and a bolt and voila, Stella was down to business at the top of the tallest set of step ladders in the world! Several metres of low tack masking tape later and she was ready to apply the first brush stroke. It took three coats but the result was fabulous and shows the work off to perfection.

In the meantime I had finished putting my work up on the walls or on plinths and had moved out into the Heritage Gallery to install my 'Oil Pool' prodded piece which forms the lower half of our joint installation called 'Tarry Woo' after a traditional knitting song. The piece had to be wired and stitched into place around one of the mill's characteristic silver pillars -not the easiest of jobs grovelling around on the floor in low light conditions. Luckily, I managed it without stabbing myself with the needle.

Our final day consisted of  displaying our workbooks and cork boards pinned up with work samples in the 2K Gallery and then sticking down all our labels and cleaning the glass cabinet for our smaller pieces and generally tidying up. Of course, as soon as I carried my tool box out to the car we found we needed a screwdriver - always happens! And finally, just a few quiet moments for us to look round and admire our work.

Did we forget anything? Yes, pointing the wretched spotlights into all the corners, must have been the scary stepladder put us off!


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