Wednesday, 31 August 2011
I knew at the outset it was going to involve a certain amount of laceration but since the whole point was to pay my respects to men and boys who fought through forests of barbed wire whilst being shot at I could hardly make a fuss over a few scratches.
What I hadn't allowed for was the way it gets into your head.
Every time a length of wire coils round and snags my clothes, catches my gloves or bites into me it creates a curious sense of panic, a bit like claustrophobia.
Once it's got you, this stuff doesn't let go.
When it snags the tape and paper mannequin it tears it up like flesh, and there are parts of it that are now bloodstained from where it got the better of me.
Even the method of tying the strands together where they cross involves using two pairs of pliers and a circular coil of thin wire to stitch them together, the same way they sew up wounds in hospitals.
Having virtually finished the wire binding, I then have to cut through his legs to replace the wood and paper of his feet with reinforced concrete.
This will give him a firm base to stand on, and support the rest of the figure without it bending under its own weight.
Ok so far.
Sawing through the paper 'muscle' and on through the wooden 'bone' feels uncomfortably like some bizarre field amputation.
I am now completely weirded out by the whole thing and beginning to wish I had never started it.
Knowing it's likely to rain I cover the now prone figure with a tarpaulin and give my hands a chance to recover.
Every time I glance out the window I can see it in the garden, looking like a dead body waiting to be collected.
The next project is going to have to be really really happy to balance this...
Posted by stuff at 08:39