Continued from “The Brizzy Saga”… “What did the intrepid team of brilliant minds do to overcome this earthshattering experience you ask?!?!?!?!?!?!? “
Sent a bloke in a buggy to get more diesel fuel mate. Not rocket science by any means. Turns out the team of transporters, not us btw, while trudging our goods in tow, found themselves lacking on the fuel front. We pulled along side their overworked, now semi-permanent roadblock installation, just in time to offer our insights to the dilemma. Anyhow, we continued on our journey further North into Queensland!
Excitedly it was “all hands on deck” when the load finally arrived to site. Once there we quickly transitioned into production mode… wake up, eat, work… eat, work… eat, work, sleep… this schedule may not seems that different from the norm for some, but towards the end of a build we consistently push 20+ hour days to meet our deadline. As the saying goes… “THE SHOW MUST GO ON!”
The scope of the build is always an evolving process. No matter how much you plan, flexibility is the key to ease and grace. Communication is consistently the fundamental ingredient to a successful project and cohesive vibe.
Our core crew members for Eclipse Festival were Bosque Hrbek (Symbiosis Events), Tucker Teutsch 3.0 (Threepointo), Brent and Yaya Anderson (One Hat One Hand), Caleb Coe (Specialized Generalist), Niki Swales (Bad-aAs volley), Michael Christian (Sculpture Artist), and myself, Chad Gaetz (Alchemy Arts Collective).
Our scope of work for the build was no small feat. A shipwrecked Chinese Junk with bamboo skinned bow and stern for front of house and performance area, both with independent waterproof shade coverings and décor. 6 junk sails consisting of 5 panels each, 12 irregularly shaped shade sails overhead, 2 larger than life climbable lily flowers and 4 art pieces from Michael Christian’s laboratory… all in the span of two weeks. Ready, andddd, go!
The first days were all about acclimation and we trialed multiple temporary shade structures. I say trialed because in our third rendition it finally became clear that these desert winds will effectively shred any configuration of materials not completely rigged for permanence… not so exciting to transform temporary shade into a permanent installation. Begrudgingly, in the 110 degree afternoons we finally created adequate coverage from our fickle sails and “Hexayurt Moon Unit.” Not a moment too soon really as it felt as though if one more ounce of energy was to be poured into creating the space in which to create from, I personally would have exploded! Truth be told, it’s not in my nature to become fed up with a task and walk away, but we all have our threshold. Mine was damn near peaked…
From here our build rolled out nearly as fast as the sweat poured from our skin. We initiated a dedicated team of volunteers into our world and pretty well advised production that they were ours now, and they wouldn’t see another build site for the rest of their lives, or the festival began, whichever came first. When you find an international conglomerate of capable individuals with drive to make things happen, the largest, most detailed visions will take fruition. There we were, miles form any major city, in a land where Wallaby’s seek mid-day shade and Crocks dive to the depths of whatever pond they call home, in order to survive in the bush of Australia… fabricating a set for a crowd of more than 10,000! If it sounds like our posey was surviving in inhospitable terrain, holding on by the peeling skin on our sun-kissed backs, than good, points coming across. Feels as though we should create an informative documentary to inform the public of how far it really goes! Reality TV?!?! Nat Geo?!?! Who‘s with me?
In congruence with nearly all festival builds, we pushed this one to the final moments before opening the stage. It’s nearly always down to the wire, and perpetually it will be the final minutes before the opening act comes on that the last rope is tied, or final materials pulled from site, and the lights turned on. Why does it come down to the wire? Well, no matter how far you go with your vision, it’s never quite done. To say “we’re done”, translates a few different ways. Examples: “If we work an longer it’ll take all week to recover”, or “I can’t take any more of this… I’m out!” Or simply put, “We’re satisfied with how it looks…” any form of this comes up when tensions are high and energies maxed. It’s not because we don’t like what we’re creating or we think it looks unfinished, that we can’t stop, but rather because the driving force inside an artist is to create. As the form in one’s mind takes physical shape, inputs from our surroundings make great impacts to the scene. Whether it be the ground anchors arriving 5 days late, or the shade sails aren’t performing how expected or you find elements in your surrounding that the build simply can’t live without. This is the ebb and flow of the environments we’re choosing to create.
You ever tired Heroin? Quitting smoking? Celibacy? Consider living a life of constant creation and asses what you find in your life is truly the addiction. I’ve found mine in an evolving culture centered around creation and collaboration.
All this being said, incredible installations world-wide wouldn’t take place without both volunteer and crowd participation. Volly’s contribute their energy into the vision and execution while the crowds gather in support of works at all kinds of events. Our crew down-unda feels incredibly fortunate and blissed-out by the outcome of our efforts and word on the street around the festival site exclaims “The Moon Stage Junk” is one of this year’s top installations!
See photo documentation of our work flow by clicking here. Also if you have quality photos from Eclipse Festival, we’d love to share them! Send us a link.