Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Temporal Fortifications

March 4

I've spent the better part of the last two weeks constructing things, and having rather a rousing time doing so.

When, in the last blog entry, we left Heart and Soul, as I came to name this small (30 cm/1 foot across) extremely temporary installation, it hadn't been up more than thirty minutes, and a brief snow shower was threatening. Here's the story behind the individual elements, why I built it, and how it was tranformed before being totally removed.

March 5

On February 14, Valentine's Day, I had a phone call from a woman wanting to pick up an item from the home-based business that I'm taking care of here at the current house-sit. She apologized for wanting to come over that evening, and added I'm sure you have other plans for this evening. When I said that I didn't, and pointed out that I was both old and widowed, she laughed and said you're kidding, right? In my somewhat weepy fragile state that day, I took it to mean that she was referring to the latter and not the former, and politely, with a shaking voice, corrected her misapprehension.

There was a long pause.


When she arrived an hour later, she was carrying three long-stemmed red roses. I found a vase for them, photographed them (a super-macro picture also in the previous entry), and admired them even as they began to droop two weeks later.

March 9 #1

Coincidentally, the bus stop nearest the house was damaged the next week, and while waiting for a bus in the howling wind, had a catastrophic failure of one entire pane of tempered glass, which went crashing down next to me. As I still had several minutes before my bus was to arrive, I quickly sought out the largest chunks of cracked glass I could find, and gently carried them back, before resuming my busy day. When I returned two hours later, it still had not been cleaned up, so I grabbed several more.

They were larger than the ones I had used in my installation project objects of crystalline desire, which was part of my show at Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre in June 2011. That evening, I thought about what I might do with them.

March 9 #2

After having it up a week, watching the light, the snow, and the wind shift around it, the Saturday chinook marked the end of it as a viable construction, so I removed the two pieces of glass as gently as possible. Having worked with shards of tempered laminated glass before, I knew there was a good chance that one (or both) might simply fall apart in my hands, and indeed, the one on the left of the pictures turned into two smaller chunks and a small handful of pea-sized pieces.

March 18

After another week went by, I retrieved some of the still wet and intact petals from the dirty snow still remaining on the deck, and sandwiched one between the two pieces, waiting for a good sunny day to photograph them. Today, that finally happened as well.

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