Solution 1 - Get a tarp!
This sad looking 'marque', was only in slightly better condition, than our spirits. It was dismal. The rain still leaked down the walls, there was no room to move, I stuffed up the pattern in my haste, the mud stank in the claustrophobia of the tent, the slightest breeze tore the tape off the walls and little rivers would trickle over the work. It was pathetic, I was pathetic, the work was disappointingly even more pathetic.
Solution 2. Get help.
On friday night I sent out an SOS text to friends, family and artists - please help, I can't pay you, and you'll have to work on your hands and knees possibly in the rain with stinky filthy mud. Surprisingly people offered to help and so with the support of friends family students and artists we had an incredibly enjoyable and productive day.
Solution 3. Get organised.
All the materials were put in labeled containers. Plastic storage cotainers were used to orgaise all the materials. Everyone working knew what the "Rain plan' was - protect the stencils, get the tarp!!! We also had umberella's (what a remarkable invention), knee pads, daylight and good cheer.
Solution 4. Enjoy the day for what it is not what I hoped it would be.
I had said yes to this gig for reasons which sound good solid and rational - good exposure and great pay. But i should've said no a thousand times over for reasons that are irrational and idealistic. Firstly I have been agonisingly bored of the dust stencil work for a while now, secondly the conditions weren't going to allow me to make work to the standard I like to perform at, and lastly the time frame (3weeks) to produce the work meant it was rushed and unresolved. And despite the 'money and fame' more than either of these things I am driven to make the best work I can make. I want to be satisfied with what i produce and present.
But, its interesting because once I let go of my own disappointment and intentions I had a good day. It was heart warming to have so many friends help out, and it wasn't just the manual labour that they helped me with, it was their enthusiasm for the work that soothed me. It was good to surrender, to hand over my work and let other people enjoy the process of making it, in the same way that I have enjoyed it over the years. I felt like each of them treated the work with the same level of care and respect that I would and it was a humbling experience to be so supported.
By Sunday evening, after the barricades were cleared away and the materials packed up and the crowds were leaving the area, I had time alone to look at the work. I was more relieved then I have ever been, and quietly pleased with what we had done.