Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Kielder Site visit

Although we had previously visited Kielder Forest and scoped out some possible sites for our work, the majority of the artists involved in the Kielder Forest project had not chosen their sites. We went as a group to decide on the location of each of our artworks.

Most of the artworks are to be sited along the Duchess Trail, but Pipi and I had already ascertained that this would not be a suitable location for our artwork. This is because the path goes through fairly dense forest, blocking out the sunlight. We need sunlight in order to charge the solar panel which is powering the speaker.

We had proposed that we position the artwork near to the Observatory, but needed to test out the various sites around there. We were told that we would need to ensure that the sound from our speaker would not disturb the visitors to the observatory, and so had loaned some battery powered equipment to allow us to find out how close we could go to the observatory without being able to hear the sound playing at the kind of volume that we would like.

We looked at a couple of potential places just off the road on the way to the observatory.

The ground at this site was uneven and would be difficult to embed our structure into. The trees blocked some of the light coming from the south. There was not a good view over the landscape, and the patch of land seemed like a passing place for cars.

This track was about 25metres long and had no apparent destination. It receded off the main road to the observatory, and was shielded by the trees, so the structure would not be easily visible to an audience. The view was of the surrounding trees and the road, so did not provide the overview of the Kielder landscape that we are aiming for.

This little area of land was connected to the main road to the observatory by a small bridge. The land across the bridge was shielded by the trees, but we wondered whether the structure could be positioned on the logs of the bridge. This would be very close to the road and so not ideal.

As we reached the observatory carpark our eyes lit up as we were reminded of the excellent views over Kielder from this site. There is a large expanse of land that is totally open without any shielding from trees. It would be ideal for powering the solar panel (all we would need is the sun to shine!). The land is fairly soft and so we could dig the legs of the structure into the ground.

The structure would be positioned behind the observatory.

Using the battery powered speaker we played the sound file that we have been editing. We angled the speaker downward, creating a shower of sound. As Pipi held the speaker with the audio playing at the volume desired, I walked towards the observatory and found the place where i could no longer hear the audio. I had not reached the observatory, so fingers crossed that the observatory staff will be happy for us to locate our artwork in their back garden!


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