Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Constructing a Festival

Matt Connell continues his reflections on his visit to WOMADelaide 2009. Find out about earlier stages of the process here.

Wednesday: The artists (a team from Studio Balkrishna in Mumbai, led by Mr Balkrishna himself) have really cracked on now: with the hoarding gridded up they set to mixing the paints. The concentrated powder pigment was mixed with linseed oil and cobalt drying solution (to speed up the drying time so that the finished hoarding can be hung at the end of the festival). The resulting paints are astonishingly vivid. Then, once a small sacred 'om' had been jotted on the surface to dedicate the painting, outlining of the figures commenced, with rapid progress being made.

Meanwhile, the rest of us have been decorating the marquee with coloured cloth, garlands, and Indian fabric decorations. Festival marquees tend towards the anonymous white cube look, and our challenge is to convert this into a vibrant space redolent of the sub-continent, in which to hang the Bombay Picture Palace collection of original posters and Bolly oil-on-canvas advertisments. The other task has been to begin technical liaison with the various wings of the site crew: electricians, lighting and sound crews, in order to ensure that the correct DJ equipment, lights and PA are successfully installed. I am responsible for this liason, as I am the most technically minded of the team. Thankfully, the WOMAD crew seem very efficient and helpful, so I am not anticipating any problems. But this equipment will be the last thing to be installed, so we won't really know all is ok until the last minute.
(Photo credit: mikecogh. permissions.)

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