Friday, January 8, 2010

Ice bergs

How many layers of socks do you wear in -28 degrees? Multiple choice: 1. Single wool sock. 2. Cotton lst layer, wool second. 3. Same pair all week

Important discussion bandied about Thursday over coffee at Artigiano when Sharron Bates of Global TV came to interview the crew, first thing in the morning. She had been to the hotel for a proper interview the night before.

City-TV braved the cold on Wednesday,

and the next day, we got some magnificent iceberg looking stuff with Sharon and her one woman crew, Carmen.

But first, past the spring salmon on the loading dock.

The work was magnificent, really getting thick and berg-like.

And they had to come out and wrap their cameras, which were 'ghosting' due to the cold.

Scott Wilson at Leader gave us very good seats to the Canuks game with the Coyotes – (who had sojourned at the hotel the night before the game). Gord saw them filing into the bus outside the Olympic tent in front of the hotel

just prior to the game and this morning the headlines “Canuks leave Coyotes howling” and “Another hatty for Burrows” confirmed Vancouver’s win. We sat in row #2 up close to those quick goals, blood on the ice when Salo got his eye poked and 18,000 fans goading players into fisticuffs.

The big buzz on the street is, how crazy is it going to be? : walk, bicycle or transit? One paper said line ups for transit will be double the first day of Canada Line’s opening, which I heard, were . . . long. Another headline: “Who owns the podium? Sponsors save the day and now rule the roost.” Everyone’s talking.

Meanwhile, Allan May and crew are busy bracing the wall at the back. Next week it goes up on site.

The days slip past.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Press in the cold

Finally, we got on NBC’s radar.

“. . . visitors can also view the Ice Gate, an ice art installation created by renowned west coast artist Gordon Halloran...” ~ It wasn't much, but our VIDEO got picked up by AOL, (Peter Grainger’s/CTV now on You Tube -- see sidebar), and the local press is all over the project.

In Olympic news, Translink to audition buskers for the games; the Torch Relay ran in Thunder Bay Sunday at the post mile 3339 of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope; Anna Goodman of Pointe Claire, Quebec tore her ACL during the FIS slalom race at Zagreb, Croatia, and is out of the competition for Team Canada.

It was Tuesday of Brianna's first week as paid staff and my first visit to the cold warehouse studio in Richmond. Peter Kim of Shaw Cable, his cameraman, Kenny and I, were just in time for a big pour.

Leader’s Scott Wilson took us down the halls past boxes of mandarin oranges and stacks of pallets.

We were bundled up and it started snowing as we stood outside the plastic stripes-doorway. Inside, the slippery floor stretched out with rows of flat paintings.

Erik pointed out the ‘fat boys’ – in cross-section

and I found some glacial pieces beginning their arctic-like fissures.

Gord gave instructions to Jaz, Erik and Becky, each with a different color of paint in their full buckets.

The place closes @ 3:15 sharp every day and so we were booted into the parking lot where Peter completed his interview and the crew began to stretch after a long day of lifting, pouring hefting.

This week: City-Tv and Global.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Extreme Painting

We stepped out of the elevator this morning and the Olympic sign in the lobby said 39 days, which for us means 35. Yikes! New Year’s. In the interim, Canada’s Olympic hockey team was chosen (with Iginla and Crosby in Canada red on the front page), the grandson rolled over for the first time and The Province published an article with several full color photos of the Ice Gate gang. These photos by Les Bazso.

Damian Inwood opened aptly with: “Gordon Halloran and his crew look as if they’ve just stepped off the set of the sci-fi movie The Day After Tomorrow.” And he coined this great term, “kaleidoscopic wall of ice”.

It’s nothing if not Extreme Painting.

On the last day of 2009, Gord spilled a bucket of blue paint, which froze instantly; today I got some ‘aerobic oxygen’ because we suspect we’re not getting enough oxygen in that extreme cold – (now that the fans have been turned down). Symptoms seem similar to altitude sickness, and we're going to suggest more frequent breaks outside, water laced with 'aerobic oxygen' and co-enzyme Q10. Thanks, Eliya!

Gord spent the few days on the coast sketching his plans on paper print-outs of the plates/wall. Brianna came to work full time today. This morning Vancouver Sun headlined: “2010 Winter Game Resident’s Guide”; a huge white tent is being constructed in front of the hotel in preparation for the IOC who will be staying here for the duration. Jaz sent us designs for the invitation; Global-TV, Shaw Cable and City TV are visiting the gulag with their cameras this week.

Just got a call from The Discovery Network. It’s dark at 7:30 AM and the rain is still coming down, but I can feel the excitement gathering - about the event - and about the work itself.

At Artigiano, discussion centered around the ‘hefty’ pieces the ‘jagged edges’ and the ‘fat boys’ – poured before New Year’s; Erik couldn't wait to see what the cold had done to them.

Check out the YouTube coverage from C-TV at

Photos by Jaz Halloran and Les Bazso.