Brief: The Gloucester Culture Trust approached us to assist in safely installing large-scale 2D letters in five locations around Gloucester, as part of the ‘Of Earth and Sky’ trail created by Luke Jerram. These letters each make up a line of a poem written and submitted by the people of Gloucestershire, and will be on display as part of a sculpture trailfor the public to interact with from August until November.
Who: The ‘Of Earth and Sky’ trail was created by Luke Jerram, a British installation artist, and curated with the help of JPDL, a local hip hop and spoken word artist.
Where: The trail is set over 31 different locations across Gloucester. Our team installed the pieces in Orchard Square, The Sabrina boat (outside Gloucester Waterways Museum), St Mary de Crypt, Gloucester Cathedral and Robinswood Hill.
When: The install took place in August 2020, and the artwork is on display until 1st November 2020.
What We Did: Team Tarren worked over the course of 2.5 days to install the large-scale 1 metre high poetry letters in five locations across Gloucester. 2 sets of letters were installed on catenary wire high on an old goods shed, and on a boat, one set of letters were attached to a church railings, and the last two were installed on scaffold frames. The two scaffold frame sets were kept low to the floor, following the lay of the landscapes within to give them as natural a feel as possible.
Each set were positioned to best suit the spaces for those walking past, and those wanting to take photographs: for example, the St Mary de Crypt letters were set around a corner so that they were visible from a bench in front. The letters at Robinswood Hill were placed so that they could be easily viewed from the Robinswood Beacon, and the Gloucester Cathedral letters were strategically placed so that the public could take photographs of the letters against the background of the cathedral spire.
Our favourite installation: Creative Producer Becks Hemus says, “My favourite installation was definitely St Mary de Crypt: it isn’t the most obvious, but installed in a quiet space, with the words ‘Miss you, Mate’ in a perfect spot to be contemplated from the old stone bench. This evocative line from the poem is so relatable, and brings home the shared spectrum of human emotion we all have. I felt as this being displayed in such a way gives a wonderful opportunity to reflect and be still in our busy lives.”
Challenges: For this project the weather was definitely very challenging over the installation days. From burning hot sun on the first day, whilst installing letters at height, to torrential rain and high winds the next day. On the final day the rain made one of the locations so wet it was physically inaccessible, and we had to postpone until very early the next morning. We also had to be very careful at Gloucester Cathedral that the ground was clear under where we were securing the scaffolding, in case of underground services, as well as old graves.