Diary of an Install Part 2

This week we are de-installing The Power of the Sea exhibition and beginning the installation of the Back From the Front Exhibition Series. Ralf Togneri has been helping our Technical Team and is keeping a blog of the progress, here is the second part of his entry.

Day two of the de-installation ( can I just call it ‘striking’ as in striking the set after a theatrical show?).  Emma and I arrive to find things as we left them, well not quite.  Tristan, Ben, Nick and Rachel had started the ‘strike’ once more early in the morning while I was lying in bed waiting for my alarm to go off).  Yup, even more was removed and the first of the major works had been transported down stairs and secure in its transit case.  It was heavy before, now it was a six person lift – and strain!

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It is in the box, now what?  I didn’t manage a photograph of the loading into the waiting van as I was one of the six people lifting the crate and art-work, which was soon on its way back to Birmingham.  Time for tea – the universal pick me up!

More pictures taken down, wrapped and packaged, put in a waiting area from where they will be taken to the waiting vans and back safely home.  Large glass-fibre constructions dismantled – beware fibre-glass rash and fine strands somehow getting under your finger nails.  The trick to dismantling the piece is double spanner action – in quite a lather by the time it was all done! (Still itching though – my arms more than anywhere else (reminds me of putting insulation in the loft – ended up throwing the clothes I wore to do the job in the bin – the little strands just persist).

The day continued at a pace and by 3 o’clock the walls were all cleared.  All over bar the packing!

Many different types of packing are used – bubble wrap in industrial amounts is the most fun.  It pops all the time as you walk on it.  It needs to come in big quantities because some of the art-work is BIG (as the next photo shows).

An enjoyable couple of days.  Lots of art-works safely ‘struck’, packaged and despatched.  Six very happy and tired people.  But we are ahead of schedule!  This gives a bit of leeway in the event of unforeseen problems – and there is always the potential for unforeseen problems!

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Everything moves on – final activity tomorrow (Wednesday) to despatch the works to their respective  homes, with a clear gallery before all the screw-holes are filled, the walls repainted, plinths check and painted and new plinths built for some stunning new works for the next show.  The hanging starts and the whole magical process of changing a bare, almost sterile set of galleries into colourful, challenging environment for visitors to come and make their own minds up about what is happening in the arts at the oldest art gallery in Bristol.

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