Yesterday was a long day. The bones of the installation were in place so I had to begin covering it which aside from figuring out some problems, was a bit of a slog. I was tired to begin with and I wasn’t looking forward to the mountain of work ahead so it took me a while to get going but eventually I did. I started by finally picking up old wardrobes and a chest of drawers from the lovely Aimee whose daughters have been waiting for me to pick them up so they can get their new bedroom furniture installed. Much excitement in store there!
After I arrived and unloaded I decided how much I wanted to get done and in the end I achieved that but I did not finish until 9pm (I only started at 11 am). I am pleased at how its taking shape but of course I am now seeing all the smaller jobs that will have to be done so I am pushing ahead as fast as I can. I am also delighted at the effects of focusing the light sources in the back room which is only lit by a skylight. As I solved a problem of how to make one particular wall – I have decided to us some lime green synthetic silky material I have had for a few years – I realised that it also catches some dappled light filtering through from a vent beautifully. The installation will change to some degree depending on what time of day one sees it.
The injuries are mounting. Though it is now getting easier to get around again as there is less choice of route, it is taking longer and I still managed to bang my head a number of times so I went home with a headache. My right wrist is starting to swell though it doesnt hurt much -maybe its muscle!- and my left hand is full of holes from accidentally drilling screws into them.
I am not complaining though. I used to work twelve hour shifts in a factory so now a ten hour day doing what I want is like a holiday. It always amuses me now to hear people complaining about their jobs (or even their college days!), jobs that are only a few hours per day, jobs where you can choose when to have a coffee, where you can wear what you want, where you can sit and fidget around on your PC, where you can pop out to the shop, jobs with long paid holiday. Jobs my bottom! Everyone should work on a production line for a year. The production line stops for no one. The lights are on constantly, the noise is non-stop, the breaks are regimented, you can’t look at your phone and the work has to be done whether or not your team mates are pulling their weight, while your job, complicated enough to be exhausting, can easily be done by a mollusc – if it had arms and legs. You’d know then you’re not special.
There is rhythm to this installation work that I enjoy. One starts in, faffs around, tries things. The construction begin to take shape. There is a place established for tools, materials, for taking a break. Then chaos occurs. Tools and materials explode in slow motion about the space. There are daily clean ups, reviews, reassessment. The hubs for materials and tools and tea drinking move around with the job. In the middle of the job it can begin to seem never ending, too chaotic to handle while the work to be done seems impossible. But then there is another change, a push towards the end. Reviews increase, materials decrease, tools move towards the door. This happens half-consciously as the work and the pace of it, unlike standard construction, is only half-planned, guessed at. One needs a structure to hang the work on but the structure has to be organic. The more work I do, the more I trust that everything will pan out. One way or the other.
By the way someone suggested I get people to bring head torches to see the show. Which I think is hilarious. So if you are coming, if you have one, bring one. And also wear comfortable shoes.