Every now and then I get involved in an art project and for the last week I have been lighting a series of seven sculptures by Mark Humphrey which form the Canary Wharf Remembrance Art Trail which opens today and is in place for the next two weeks so if you get a chance go and have a look.
In the comfort of our own armchairs we all fancy our chances as artists, until you actually work with a real one, and then you just have to accept your good but their a class above and there is a passion and involvement about them which can lead to some very bizarre moments as you get caught up in their world. I spent an hour yesterday assisting the Artist assemble “The Grave” which is part of the Lost Army work. A sculpture in two parts, one side of the path has 50 pristine soldiers standing bathed in pure white light, and the other side of the path a hole in the ground with lots of bodies representing a mass grave where they ended up. We had boxes of scale model bodies and body parts to assemble in the grave, and we became caught up searching through looking for the right bit of arm or leg, and being asked “can you see the head”. Conversations I thought I would never have. At one point I was asked to go and rub some dirt on one body it was too clean, so off into the mud I went.
Then suddenly its finished and we step out of the building bubble and turn back to see exactly what has been achieved. The whole thing takes on a seriousness and solemnity, and for many its become the most moving piece of the whole trail. I will leave you to make your own mind up. My favourite is the picture at the top “Boots on the Ground” 8mts high its big and imposing, and I get to use big lights to accentuate its scale, and there are five more equally thought provoking pieces to look at.
This year when I wear my poppy to commemorate those who have died I shall remember this and what became when we stepped back, a very moving moment.