Friday, December 08, 2006

Internment Or Internship?

I have been utterly, completely worn out by the last 2 days of my internship. Fatigued is probably a better word. Yesterday was the opening day of the new exhibition, so many things were still not done and we were frantically trying to catalogue artworks, display them, make labels, price them, match labels to the works, clean up the gallery and various other miscellaneous deeds. The database software went crazy and the numbering went awry, so we had the added complication of trying to match 2 different sets of numbers. Oh plus the artist had his own numbering system and we were trying to match ours to his as well. In the end, the gallery owner almost tore out his hair in despair, and at one stage, he sat with his head in his hands, his assistant patting him on the shoulder trying to comfort him while the artist stood glumly nearby. I just scooted off to the furthest end of the gallery and tried to keep out of the way and ended up going to the little cottage downstairs to tidy up.

At 6 pm as the first guests came in for the opening event, we were still anxiously matching labels with prices and artworks. I was walking around the gallery, nursing a migraine by then, looking for the right pieces, doing mental sums in my head, subtracting numbers in order to match them (remember the different sets of numbering system?). We did our best which resulted in about 90% of the works being labelled, and almost 100% had prices, even if they were just sticky white stickers instead of nicely typed labels (argghh, too big so I had to go around with a pair of scissors trimming them down to size) sitting in plastic sleeves.

I decided I had enough of the gallery and the heat and tension, by then more people were arriving so I went down to the courtyard just outside the cottage and helped serve drinks. And helped myself to the delicious King Island Cheddar (I must make a mental note to go and look for some at the supermarket) which was a stopgap measure till dinner at 9 pm.

Finally, the crowd thinned out, we started to clean up and I finally trudged home at 9. I haven't been so tired (a lot of physical manual labour involved in setting up an exhibition, lugging heavy artworks and other equipment, standing for hours, squatting, sweeping, climbing stairs) in a long, long time and finally put my tired body to sleep at 10.30 pm, an almost unheard of bedtime for me!

Today was another longish day, I was on my feet a good deal, in heels too. So when I got home, my feet hurt, I was tired and I am sure I'm going to go to bed pretty much at the same time as the night before! I'm just worn out.

Maybe this is the physical exercise that will result in weight loss over the summer - need to look at the bright side. And another bright side to this is that I actually get a lunch allowance. The sweet gallery owner felt bad about me working for free, and about the criminally high rent I am paying for my shoebox, he decided he would give me $25 per week for my 3 lunches. So work experience, with free exercise and free lunch, all in a nice environment with an understanding gallery owner - what more can a girl ask for?


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