Mooney Goes Wild radio interview airs this Sunday

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image: Eanna ni Lamhna interviewing David Hackett

 

Mooney Goes Wild, the RTE Radio 1 programme, interviewed the Trinity College Trees Team on September 29th. Hear the interview live on RTE Radio 1 between 22.00 and 23.00 this Sunday October 15th 2017.  RTE  will be posting information on this interview nearer the date.

Click here for more information.

The crab apple tree artwork has arrived…

As usual Philip in the Laser Company did a wonderful job on these pieces.  See The Laser Company for more information on all the other series they offer.

Perspex is notoriously difficult to photograph so please excuse these images. The best thing to do with this piece will be to see it installed. The fluorescent red perspex will glow, twist and sway in the beautiful Rose Garden.

Installing in the Oregon Maple, part 2

We decided to install and leave the highest ‘tendon’ in place even though the exhibition is not due to open to the public until Friday the 29th. It would have been too difficult to get back to the same height again. I had decided on mirroring two metal wires, which ran more or less parallel to each other near the topmost branches of the tree.

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See image of the end points of the chosen pair of cables where they are fixed to the tree.

David positioned us and we began cutting, stretching and cable tying the beginning of the length of fabric between the two wires. We continued cable tying the fabric along the length of the wires until the distance between them became impossible to cover. At this point I needed to ‘carve’ the tendon shape into the fabric attaching it’s end points securely to the wires.

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Slide show of different of the piece in situ from various positions as we descended from the heights of the top branches of the Oregon Maple to the ground level.

Having finished finessing this tendon we dropped down to the lower levels of the branches to measure up for the final two tendons. Both of these tendons will run more or less parallel to each other with variations on their angles and will be nearly perpendicular to the highest tendon. David and I again moved into position and began to temporarily tie the other two tendons nearer the base of the trunk and cut the fabric length to size. These sections were taken away to allow the artist to further cut into the fabric, shape it, sew the edges and afix the eyelets.

Images of the final two ‘tendons’ and the complete installation in the Oregon Maple will be available to view after the exhibition opens to the public.

Crab apple – process behind the artwork

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The process behind the development of the artwork for the crab apple tree. See image above – a sample of one of the ten perspex pieces being etched and laser cut by Philip in the Laser Company for the Trinity College Trees Exhibition.

The artist was very lucky to have a wonderful fellow artist who took over the technological aspects of the crab tree artwork. I gave Ayelet Lalor the scanning electron microscope image, a drawing of this image segmented into ten pieces and ten pieces of unique handwriting from willing participants who visited the Rose Garden in Trinity College Dublin during May 2017. See all images below.

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Firstly Ayelet drew out the segmented sections. She then imported all the text into these segments along curved lines that she created. She inserted hanging holes and spent a long amount of time tweaking the thickness of the handwriting.  See images below.

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All this process sounds reasonably simple but she put a huge amount of work into and I and the team are very grateful.

To follow a little bit of information about Ayelet herself and below an image of her work.

“Ayelet Lalor is a visual artist whose figurative work includes clay, concrete and bronze,and more recently, print. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally, and is included in significant public and corporate collections.”

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‘Wild flower walk’, screen print by Ayelet Lalor, 2017.

Installing in the Oregon Maple, part 1

The next stage in the artwork process was to decide where in the tree to install and how long each section of fabric needed to be. David Hackett kindly booked and organised getting the large and cumbersome scissors lift to the Oregon Maple on the morning of the 14th of September.

It would have been great if it were possible to continue using the scissors lift that day and finally install all the ‘tendons’ but unfortunately I had so much cutting of fabric to get the desired shape, sewing of the edges and inserting the eyelet fixing points that David will have to roll out all the equipment again for the final stage.

So on a windy sunny morning and on the same day that American Vice President Mike Pence visited Trinity College Dublin David Hackett and his team maneuvered the large scissors lift into position. Ironically we were up in the scissors lift when the Vice President visited the main square nearby.

See images from top of the tree looking down on the main square.

Before we could begin large boards had to be laid down on the grass to protect it from being damaged by the wheels of the lift.

See images of scissors lift preparation

As soon as all the preparation was completed David promptly buckled me into a harness system and up we went! I am not afraid of heights but it was still a nerve wrecking experience all the same. It takes a lot of skill and experience to get the cherry picker to the highest parts of the huge Oregon Maple, thankfully David is a great driver!

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See images of the tree as I was looking down at it from the topmost branches.  

For what happened next see the blog entitled Installing in the Oregon Maple, part 2. 

Ironing the Oregon Maple artwork

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As the Oregon Maple artwork is to be installed outdoors the ink printed onto the lycra fabric needed to be set This is done using heat. My instructions from Gerry in Digiscreen was to have the fabric at 160 degrees for between 1-3 minutes. In large scale printers they use huge ovens that can hold exact temperatures for specific amounts of time. Not having access to these ovens I turned to my trusty iron and ironing board!

Before I could finalise the correct setting and duration of the ironing process I did a few tests with scrap fabric. See image below. Showing the fabric with no treatment on the left and one with 1,2 and 3 minutes on the right. To the naked eye it’s hard to see which setting is best but I decided to go for the longest duration.

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I therefore put my iron on its cotton setting and began the ironing process. Three minutes for every ironing board width by forty times per length of fabric (there are two) equals….many minutes of ironing, which I is my least favorite thing to do. I persevered and the fabric is now ready to be used outdoors.

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The next stage in the artwork process was to decide where in the tree to install and how long each section of fabric needed to be. David Hackett kindly booked and organised getting the large and cumbersome scissors lift to the Oregon Maple on the morning of the 14th of September.  I will post another blog about this process at a later stage.