Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Broken cuts - 21 days to open

Art has all but finished hooking up the refrigeration, and the insulation should be on the back of the wall. Nail biting while we wait for the wall's completion, as everyday its construction goes further over budget, a reality we have to somehow absorb. Gord says it's a Cadillac wall, when from the beginning, our budget was for a Ford.

I guess it wouldn’t be interesting, if we didn’t have any white knuckle anxieties on these gigs. Add to that, my laptop crashed on Friday, and the house up the street was burgled in broad daylight. Then I turned on the tele, for mindless distraction, and the gut- wrenching human tragedy in Haiti dwarfed my civilized concerns.

It reminds me of the opening of Pitture Sotto Zero in Fenestrelle for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. There had been no snow since December; people were wondering how do you have the winter Olympics with no snow? We were similarly stressed with the never ending expenses, mounting against our finite personal funds, not to mention the creative challenges of the ‘mostra’.

And then, the night before we opened, it started snowing. It was absolutely magical. Sasa Petricic arrived in our little town just before the big snowfall, and we were all trapped together in the storm.

After what seemed like hours in the cold church while Sasa filmed for The National, we packed into the local pizzeria, shivering and hungry in the dark, but comforted by candlelight on the table and the smell of Italian cooking upstairs. Sasa had just gotten back from Banda Aceh and spoke of the devastation of the December tsunami there. I remember him talking about bodies hanging in the trees, boats upside down on top of houses, an entire world helpless, homeless, without family, or food, mourning their beloved.

We do have our own real challenges - the world is coming to our doorstep to see what we're presenting and they're expecting it to be beautiful and go off without a hitch. Since last week Gord's been holding the tension of all this on his shoulders in the determined way that he does, always working out some alternative to make it bearable before he says a word.

He steals himself against the angst as he needs mental space for the explosive creative. Which right now, is urgently necessary and very exciting. Here is a photo Al Burns took last week, which shows the focus of the work now.

This morning for the first time they talked about ‘the move’ to the site. They’ve begun cutting: 'thinner cuts', ‘off cuts’, ‘cracked cuts’, ‘broken cuts’ - the kind that make the work shimmer. They’re solving the installation problems before the move, and Erik is teaching others how to use the portable circular saw. Below: does art reflect life? Or life, art?

Emmanuelle Renard, our new recruit, just sent some photos of Ice Gate at the Senior's Center - where she works on Tuesdays in a program called "The Arts, Health and Seniors Project". The seniors loved the extra Ice Gate shards. Learn more about the program: http://vancouver.ca/parks/arts/artshealthseniors.htm

We’ve uploaded Bob Nixon's CBC-TV to UTube. Check it out on the right side of this blog. Also look for Matt Hoekstra’s article in The Richmond Review this week.

1 comment:

beth hawthorn said...

Hey there Caitlan and Gordon,

I have been following your ice gate blog. Wow! Thank you so much for keeping the blog current.
It really is the next best thing to being there on site. Truely an amazing project.

I'm sure the crunch is on and I will be sending you positive thoughts over the next month. Looks like the press is loving it and I'm sure they will continue to keep you very busy.

I imagine a bit of down time will be in order in March, if you can even think that far ahead.

All the best,

Beth Hawthorn