Friday was install day for my public art project. The never ending public art project. It only took me a few months to actually make the work, but the whole process has been unbelievably long - over 18 months from start to finish - with all the hoops that need to be jumped through, the meetings, the approvals, the coordination between construction companies, government, architects, artists…and my commission was a fairly straight forward, small, simple one compared to most!
The project itself is part of the Art Built-In Policy we have here in QLD, where 2% of the cost of public buildings is spent on artworks. We like that policy! I have had a fairly nice, easy introduction into this world, with this first commission being part of a series of “integrated showcases” (architect speak for a display case built into the wall!) throughout the fancy new Southbank Institute of Technology complex . But the whole process has given me a great insight into what else is possible in this area, and I’d love to get into something a little juicier next time.
I was looking forward to having the whole thing done and dusted on Friday. But after 5 hours of installing (most of which involved sitting around waiting on a plastic covered chair wearing a hard hat in a half-finished library with a freezing wind blowing a gale through an unfinished doorway) a little oversight in the cleaning of the roof of the showcase was discovered…as the last piece of glass was being fitted, as we all had one foot out the door ready to go to the pub, down came a shower of sawdust all over my work. Not a good look! So back I go tomorrow to take it all out, wait for it to be cleaned properly and all the glass to be re-installed, and put it back in again! But I didn’t really mind. I had such a fun day sitting in there just listening to the hilarious banter between all the tradies. What a bunch of sweet lovely hilarious characters they were. I kept getting Village People songs stuck in my head! And watching their reaction to my work was an added bonus - these big macho fellas going all wide-eyed at my fragile little pieces, working so softly and carefully around them!
So, almost done and dusted....and not a minute too soon i tell ya.
(personally I think this would make for a more interesting art work....)