Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Chelsea build update

Day 6 of the build and, at the risk of jinxing it, all is going rather well.  The garden office arrived on day one, a wonderfully warm and dry refuge from the horrible weather we've been having and was positioned into the perfect spot by a very adept hiab-operator.  Instantly we had somewhere to stash tools, sculpture and ourselves, although at the reasonable risk of engendering hatred from our fellow exhibitors who did not have the luxury of underfloor heating and recessed spot lights. 

She (I assume the garden office is a she as she's too pretty and elegant to be a 'he') is fantastic.  We now had perfect 90 degree angles from which to build the walls and paving, set levels and a power source.

The path, laid so expertly by men far more skilled and masculine than I, is a pale slate with a honed finish that perfectly matches our brand colours (intentional) and was laid with the unerring precision of Dustin Hofmann in 'Rain Man'.  I have never seen such care put into anything in my life, it was a man version of a birth and the child is frankly beautiful - although I'm prepared to concede that all parents are liable to be a tad biased.

The lighting so kindly donated by Vivid and designed by Chiaroscura went in yesterday, all built to the greenest specifications and casting a warm light from a combniation of spot lights, floods and LED strips.

  The latest sculpture, 2.4m of stunning glass.

The artists started to deliver their work over the build days, each seems a great fit and I cannot wait to get the final pieces later today.  There are moon jars from Pembrokeshire, bronze sculpture from Chester, woodwork from Sussex, every day something new arrives on a truck and I get to place it on our ever-expanding site.  I say 'expanding' as the RHS have allowed us to spread our footprint by around 13 square meters, which is just fantastic.

The other exhibitors have been so helpful, there's a real feeling of 'all in this together', whether it is lending site machinery or donating jumbo bags of Type 1.  We've been offered plants, advice, tools, there is a great sense of family united under pressure which I had not anticipated, it is wonderful to feel part of it.  Even though the hours are extreme our energy levels are not dwindling as the sheer volume of complex projects gives such a sensory overload that it is hard to notice the exhaustion kicking in until I crawl into bed.

Must dash, more to do but thought I'd pause for breath and show you a few snaps of the build in progress.  Hope to see you at the show!

Rick Kirby's 'The Call'

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