Who would have thought one missing JCB would have such an impact to so many things, assisted by 48hrs of torrential rain, our site has been transformed into a swamp, but work continues as Leck progress swiftly through the barns ripping out the floors to reveal the full extent of the space we have to work with.
With one fail swoop Lawson Park passes from Grizedale Arts to Leck Construction and work begins on what will become Grizedale Arts new home, well only the small matter of a giant swan, a colossal billboard and a barn full of abandoned refrigerator parts to sort out, all various remnants of artists projects.
We finally handed Lawson Park to the builders – Leck, a local firm who will be here for 9 months stripping and rebuilding the interiors of the house and barns. Day one coincided with torrential rain - combine rain and builders and you get knee deep mud , and the impression the building is just a pile of stones sliding down a muddy hill – which I guess it is - all its significance and meaning evaporated like it never was. It really brought a lot of memories back to me of people and dinners, events and extraordinary happenings, it was nice to be reminded and to think about how much had come from the house and the location.
Here’s a few moments that sprang to mind
6 wives of Henry the 8 reversing into the ravine
Colin Lowe and Roddy Thomson fighting and crying
Emily Wardill’s black dinner
Jesse Rae’s radio station
Olaf Breuning listening to a chainsaw artist singing a song about a cat
Damon Packard’s table manners
Juneaus burning a radio over a camp fire and the radio just kept going and going
Mark Wallinger repeatedly talking over a particularly boring dinner guest who kept mentioning Andy Goldsworthy
Karen in animated discussion flanked by Robert Woof and Ken Russell
The Japanese villagers of Toge changing into my giant checked clothes following a very wet mornings work
Gelitin partying in the meadow
Rose Lord, Adam Chodzko and Clio Barnard walking down the drive dressed as the 3 pigs
Kerry Stewart’s giant swan being mistaken for a real swan
Jon Ronson dancing hard, alone, to ELO in the barn after the Festival of Lying
Sarah Staton re-appearing in her car, hours after a dinner party ended, having been lost in the forest
Nina & Karen locked into the dining room for a week sewing elaborate Tudor costumes
Robert Woof (shortly before his death) walking slowly through the wild flower meadow to see the rare orchid
If you have any of your own please add them via the comments
Here's young design guru Supermundane getting superinspired about thinking up new signage for Lawson Park, as part of the Yes design duo's work for GA. As it was our director Adam's birthday we all got treated to a bountiful pub dinner, and a very convivial night it was too.
One of the challenges is to think up some cool ways to signpost / name things like the raised vegetable beds, which for over a year we have struggled to do. Current favourite is to name the beds after past GA projects but how the hell anyone is meant to remember which one is 'It rocks, but gently' as opposed to 'Roadshow' or 'Let's Get Married' may mean a long stay on the drawing board for that concept.
After several weeks of neglect following our temporary move away from Lawson Park, the Kitchen Garden looked a tad forlorn when I started my tidy-and-harvest session today. There were - surprisingly - quite a few passers-by despite the drizzle, but I do miss having the cats around when I'm there now - they however think nothing of their wild former home as they lounge among the central heating in our new place.
The Honesty Stall would have done good business had I anything green to spare for sale.
So - on the 31st December 2007 we harvested a basket of the following:
Turnip 'Golden Globe' (growing in the polytunnel)
Mixed salad (also in the tunnel)
Black radish 'Hamburg' (insanely hot to taste)
Parsnip 'Tender and true'
Brussel sprout 'Cavalier'
The worst weather here is yet to come, but I'm still justifiably chuffed with this for a Hogmanay haul...
Here's a drawing of life at Lawson Park by my talented niece Emma Quinn, who seems to have pictured the pigs as angels looking down on the human and feline inhabitants.
A go at the massive Lawson Park compost bins today revealed a tremendous worm community within the layer of shredded art junk mail within.
With the added pathos of God-awful weather last Monday, Lawson Park was emptied in readiness for the big refurb to start.All we have left behind are the mortal remains of the 2 Grizedale pigs, curing on a rafter in the upstairs bedroom to put off any would-be squatters.
The team from the movers Steeles packed with awesome speed, so much so we worried that the cats might be in one of the boxes. But they weren't, they're safe and well and relishing the centrally-heated temporary accommodation.
Processed pigs, or some of them anyway. That's a lot of work and a whole lotta pig. This picture shows the smoked and brined bacon and hams drying. In 3 - 4 months they will be ready to supplement the broad bean cafe. There are also a vast array of sausages - dried mainly - and rather too much brawn and potted meat. After you've done all that processing the one thing you don't want to do is eat pig.