Well yes, I suppose you could say that I’m a worrier. But last Friday was a big day for me and I think anyone would have worried if they’d been in my shoes that day. I was installing my new work in the prestigious Bourn Vincent Gallery in the University of Limerick.
Limerick city is two hours’ drive from Dublin. Most of the artwork was travelling there by art courier. I was bringing the final few pieces in my own car and I also had a whole collection of tools, balls of string, assorted screwdrivers, jumbo paper clips, widgets, clamps and various other bits and pieces that might possibly be needed on this crucial day of installation. Now I hasten to add that the gallery has a very professional, dedicated staff who go out of their way to help and support the artist – but to a worrier, do you think that makes a blind bit of difference?
So what was I worrying about? I had 22 towers of coffee cups to erect in just one day; I had a stack of newspapers to convert into a work of art ( ! ), and I had to decide what was going where, which paintings to hang and which to omit. That last one is actually the most difficult challenge. It’s a big gallery but you don’t need to fill it up to make an interesting show. Each piece of art needs its own space; if you have too many pieces they can distract attention from each other. It’s good to have some objective person there with you to help you decide – because it’s always difficult for the artist to leave any piece out of the show.
Anyway, we did it! That was a busy day, I’m telling you, but a very exciting one too. As you can see from the photo above, there’s still a bit more to do. That’s Aidan, the gallery technician in the background. The rest of us are off enjoying a final cup of coffee. Should we erect one more tower, do you think?