“I don’t want to put up my sculpture in the rain,” I moaned to fellow finalist Paul Tuppeny as we drove down to Broomhill. My parents retired to North Devon and I know from long experience that once it starts to rain, it tends to continue, certainly for hours, sometimes for days. That is the reason that everything is so green and so lush. When we arrived at Broomhill it was both unbelievably wet and also quite incredibly beautiful; whilst I myself was soon to get very wet indeed, in practice it didn’t matter at all and, as it was quite warm rain, it actually became quite fun.
The site Rinus, the Broomhill owner, had chosen for Flightpaths was absolutely perfect, sheltered and with enough space for the sculpture to breathe. It was fantastic finally to be able to fit the pieces together. At home I had only partly assembled it because I was very conscious that I had to get it apart again to transport it and, as some of the fittings were very tight, I was afraid that it might become stuck.
Of course the assembly wasn’t completely smooth sailing. The rods are fitted into a series of holders and held in place by tiny grub screws – tiny grub screws which can go missing at crucial moments, as can allen keys, only to reappear just out of reach.
Also I had envisaged that the work would appear to come out of the ground,but in place it became clear that it needed to be higher and Rinus suggested putting it on a small plinth; many thanks to Paul, different Paul, the one who works there, for making one.
At last the work was in place and it was extraordinarily satisfying to see it there. What was magic was when the sun came out the next day and it appeared to glow as I hoped it would.
I was also pleased with the way that rods acted together to create a lens effect.
Being a Broomhill finalist was inevitably stressful; certainly I was not the only one to find it so; but it was also an extraordinarily special experience. The place is packed with so many amazing sculptures. It is such as honour to be part of it. It was great to meet other finalists and to talk to Rinus and Aniet who are so knowledgeable about art. So thank you to everybody at Broomhill; if you are reading this blog, and have yet to go there, I do hope you visit and see it for yourselves.