Sorry for the lack of postings, I have lots to show you, I just hadn’t had time to post it because Christmas happened! I wrote some of this a few weeks ago…
This week is decorations, and putting up the new exhibition, week. What a job! The quantity of decorations, and amount of work needed, in order to make a house this size look truly festive, is vast. There are real issues of scale when dealing with the hanging of a star in a hallway or installing one to hang from a tree here at Mottisfont. The stars exhibition is going up both inside and out and I have been following that development day by day… the hands attaching the star hanging from the limes were quite blue. Actually, as I look down at the keyboard I see mine are blue too.
Serendipity is the name of this game. I plan exactly what I hope to do each day, but that is not how it happens. I turn up and something else interesting catches my eye or it is raining (still) and what I thought was going to be the main feature of my day is not possible (ground too wet, flu, Christmas etc). There are jobs which are going to be done (I am told) and which I would be sad to miss, for instance, pruning the limes or wrapping the paintings in preparation for the ceiling repairs or the chef chopping the vegetables. I didn’t expect the highlight of one particular day to be Jan wrapping pictures in the office
My original idea for this residency was to concentrate solely on the maintenance of the fabric of Mottisfont itself – recording the hands which work to preserve it all in such a remarkable state of perfection – and although I continue to do that there is so much else which goes on in other ways that I think it would be wrong to ignore it. The cafe, the bookshop, the buggy, the decorations for Christmas are all very much a part of what makes visiting Mottisfont a pleasurable and varied experience, so I am going to go with my instincts and work with it all.
I’m writing this (in a rather cold room as the heating seems to be off today) whilst one of the team who come to clear out the gutters and clean out the storm drains is wearing the camera.
The chance to get views of the house and grounds from a totally different point of view is very exciting.
I had a bit of bother yesterday with the camera announcing that it was FULL (when it had no right to be) so I missed quite a bit that could have been good. I have to hide when the camera is being used so that I don’t feature in all the footage – this means that I can’t keep my eye on what is going on and I don’t get to see problems till it’s too late. It is hard to stay around yet not be in the shot – Michael pointed out that Alfred Hitchcock always features briefly in all his films so for a moment I flattered myself that I was following in his illustrious footsteps – until I told Kate the gardener about it and she said Oh it will be just like ‘Where’s Wally’ – that put me in my place! Though it makes me think, perhaps I can do a bit of film for children where they see how often they can spot me dodging behind trees and hiding behind doors.