Off to Leeton from Hay to install the anamorphic portrait we'd made of Walter Burley Griffin (who had designed Leeton along with Canberra and a number of other NSW towns).
Back-tracking to the start of this project, the challenge that we'd set ourselves to create this work, drawn from elements of the distinctive designs that decorate the buildings of Leeton that when viewed from a specific angle resembled a portrait of the man himself.
Coupled with the challenges of making something that could be installed in a public space and stand up to the ravages of time (the weather, vandals and broader community), turned out to be quite the challenge indeed.
Initial tests of the anamorphic shadow concept with plasticine and kebab sticks were promising. But it turns out that neither plasticine nor kebab sticks are things that civil engineers look upon favourably. Getting the weight of all the concrete forms up to height and kept there in a a robust and non life threatening way was going to be the biggest challenge (amongst ourselves we referred to this as the floating concrete project).
On the optimistic assumption we would figure that all out, I got to work modelling and pouring up a bunch of elements inspired by the architecture of Leeton that we would then be able to uses as our "pallet" to create the portrait.
We marked out a stencil of the silhouette on the outside of the shed and started using that as a guide to start placing the pieces.
Working with lightweight steel frame and card we were able to rough things out with enough light weight silhouette detail to provide the engineer with the heights, spans, weights, etc he needed.
Exciting eight hour drive up to NSW, hoping nothing fell off the back and keeping a keen eye out for low bridges. Happily this task fell to Greg ( I can only imagine if I hadn't been sitting on a beach in far north Queensland for this bit it would have been even more stressful).
I met up with Greg in Leeton (after the Hay residency) and between us we managed to wrestle it all off the trailer and reassembled on the slab that had been poured in the designated spot.
Placing the light was the final task. Again this placement needed to be pretty exact so that the light would shine up through the structure and cast the shadow of Walter Burley Griffin onto the Water tower. A bit of a faff but we eventually sorted it out.
Upon returning home we had a bit of a heart flutter weh we got a call to say the council were going to move the light a bit for some reason or another but happily concreter had turned up and concreted it into place before they had had a chance to actually take action on this.