Day 20: 21st August 2022

The De-install Day

I met Barbara at the gallery at 10; Frances Wilson and her neighbour Griff (who had expressed an interest in taking a taproot) were already there. Griff picked his taproot and I walked the 50 yards to his house to inspect where it would go, and measure up. Frances also decided to take a taproot for her son in Bristol.

Barbara and I then took down all the five taproots using the ladder. The cardboard comes away from its moorings very easily, leaving no trace (which is definitely a metaphor). Barbara swept the floor and mopped it, in preparation for her installation of the next exhibition tomorrow. The gallery looked empty and a bit bereft (but expectant of new life nevertheless).

While she was working in there, I was at work in the shop, installing the taproot which Laura had earmarked (actually the first one to go up in the corner of the gallery).

The taproot in its permanent new home. (Any blurry photos like this are taken with my phone: apologies – I didn’t realise that the lens needed cleaning)

Griff taking a taproot around the corner to his house

You can see bits of balloon and masking tape hanging out of the bottom…

Barbara and I said a sad farewell, and I took my bowl, glue and cardboard around to Griff’s house. Whilst fixing the taproot in its new home, I spent a very happy hour chatting to him and Frances (they are near neighbours and very old friends) about writing, thinking through making, architecture, badgers, insect numbers and other interesting subjects. Another case where I was thinking to myself – I’d love to live in Hertford!

Here are some photos of the new installation (all by Griff). I can’t tell you how happy it made me to be leaving something of the exhibition behind in Hertford, in such happy homes – and it made the de-installation in the gallery much easier to bear…

After saying goodbye and promising to see them soon when I come again to install Chloe and Juliette’s family’s taproot (now in two pieces in my conservatory – easily mended), I walked for a final time past the closed-up Courtyard Arts…

…and posted my parking permit through the letterbox. That felt very final.

What a wonderful month. I feel it has changed me in some ways, as yet indefinably; however, I think it’s something to do with gaining confidence in talking to people (I’m usually quite reticent) and a wish for meaningful and lasting connections – I think I have been inspired by my own artwork.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading this blog and following my progress! I’ll be making a film about the install and de-install, and will put it on the blog when it happens.



8 responses to “Day 20: 21st August 2022”

  1. Hi Anna

    I’ve followed your posts with great interest (I hope you received my earlier comment). So good to see 3D work for the Residency. Fascinating and exciting installation, congratulations. I too went to UH, but became a 3D artist during my Masters at Middlesex.

    Well done and good luck in the future. Heather Jukes (Artist and geneticist, previously involved with Courtyard as a steward, assistant gallery manager and Residency selector, Guardian reader, and friend of Frances and Chris.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Heather. Yes, I did get your earlier comment and replied to it. What did you focus on at UofH? I’ve loved meeting Frances and Chris. I shall be visiting Frances again soon! All the best


  2. So delighted to see the new taproot homes. We were fantasising that they might have taken root on their own, weaving their way through walls, or shrieking like mandrake roots when you came to deinstall them. The innards of balloons look so like arteries.
    Great that they are alive and flourishing in Hertford and Beyond.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. loved all the shots of your last day loved the second to the bottom, the most filled of the photos still want to know what the feel is like the texture is very important to me and the colour and the weights of the pieces… their density i like to cuddle with my roots could thou bring to canada some feely samples? I’m often amazed at the cycles that tree fibres go thru in their lifetimes, before they become absolute dust, exhausted if that is possible. So your explorations are over for now. mostly, i loved the twining, intertwining, thicks and thins, but i wish I had a solid impression of the colours involved, and their shadings and of course all the intertwinings of memories involved with every considerations of the objects as art…. that is, representation…. and that leaves me wondering. I seem to want to touch something more. I seem to respond strongly to intertwining. And the shadows and contrasts thereby produced. I noticed that the sculptures didn’t say anything. In their silence, I wonder what they would say, if they were prompted. Know what? I really love all the paintings you’ve given me over the years. And the latest sketch portrait of mm… Just had a little thought: what could the pencil do to your roots, with your roots, connect your roots, shade your roots? Learning from pure experiment can be notable. With love, m.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll bring you something in October xoxox


  4. Dear Susie(Anna),
    I have followed your journey with a feeling that I am looking over your shoulder as if behind you in a queue. I feel this need for connection and empathetic change so strongly and it is so heartening to hear your words and see the actions taken. Can’t wait to meet up with you in the autumn.
    Much love
    Sophie x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Sophie, I’m so looking forward to seeing you too! We will have SO much to talk about! Enjoy the rest of the summer and lots of love xxx


  5. why not?


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