Thursday, August 31, 2006

Volunteering For Gormley On The Last Winter's Day

The Official Last Day Of Winter.


I started the day early. I had volunteered to help pack up the thousands of terra cotta figures in Antony Gormley's "Asian Field" installation for the Biennale. So WC and I turned up at the godown which was where the exhibition was held. The setting was gorgeous- the Opera House on the opposite bank, the Harbour Bridge spanning both ends. The sun was shining, the sea was blue. It was even warm.

We signed in, were quickly briefed on packing procedures and each given a pair of latex gloves to don for the job. We got going quickly, perched on a packing crate, packing the figures by colour. By the second crate, I realised it was back-breaking work, bent over the crate, reaching out for the figures, trying to ensure I haven't gotten the colours mixed up. There were about 5 people packing the crates, most worked in silence, the radio played classical and retro music, depending on who was fiddling with the stations. There were thousands of little people, considering it was already the 4th day of packing, it didn't seem like much was packed away. The installation looked just like how I remembered it when I came for the Biennale 6 weeks ago.

By the end of our 3-hour shift, we made a little dent in the "Asian Field", and had aching backs. We were also given $10 lunch money, that I didn't expect cos we were volunteers. But it was nice of them. And then the packing supervisor anxiously asked if we were coming back again, and pleaded with us to come back to help pack again "There is never too many volunteers". Looking at how much they have got, I have to agree with her. We told her that when our schedule permits, we will be back again.

Maybe next Thursday - my first free morning of the week and when my back doesn't hurt anymore.


Post a Comment

<< Home