The Friday before this work was meant to be installed in Sydney, began with a meeting of the Directors of the recently incorporated Byron Bay to Bondi (B2B) Transport Company, messers Gillespie and Horstmanshof, met to consider the logistics of lifting this sculpture that stands about 2.1 m high with a similar length and breadth , onto a conventional trailer.
Plan A was, as good plans often are, deliciously simple. Erect a tripod, pass a strap though the hole at the top of the sculpture and with a chain block hoist the whole thing up and slide the trailer underneath. Then bolt the work to the trailer. Decamp to Sydney. End of plan.
But on the day, as often happens with Plans A, a small complication arose. To get the whole structure high enough to slide the trailer underneath, the legs of the tripod had to be pulled very close together. It soon became obvious that unless the trailer was cut in half, lengthwise, there was no way that the trailer would fit between the legs of the tripod when they were that close.
The next day was a Saturday so getting some sort of suitable crane in position on time was simply not going to happen.
OK Scratch Plan A. Plan B was formulated and rolled out. There is a large tree overhanging the driveway. Fortuitously, a sturdy limb grew at about the right height. Obviously purpose made by the Gods, was the consensus of those presen. So out came the long ladder and ignoring the normal concerns of a 60 something-year-old shinning up a rickety ladder, the block and tackle were soon affixed to the branch. A test run showed that the limb was bending alarmingly. So the directors took charge and hastily rigged up a bit of additional support for the branch in the form of a construction worthy of the late Mr W Heath-Robinson Esq. Suitably reassured of the merits of this fine Plan all efforts were then focussed on cranking up the chain block. As the feet of the sculpture began to clear the ground, a sudden crack from above sent the two Directors of B2B Transport Co diving into the shrubbery. That was just as well for, as soon as they had made their undignified, but timely exit from the scene, down came the branch, the chain block and the H-R contraption crashing onto the centre of the sculpture. The damage to the sculpture was minimal although not totally trivial. It could be readily repaired.
That disposed of the fallback (or "falldown" as it was now referred to) Plan B. Work immediately beagn on Plan C. As happens in these sorts of times of crisis, a quick brainstorm session resulted in a flash of sheer genius. It was realised that the apex of the roof beam inside the garage had sufficient height to allow the whole lifting project to be executed with singular ease. It was remarked in the unminuted meeting of directors how great it was when a Plan came together and attributed the success almost entirely to the fact that OHS people were not involved. In no time flat the sculpture was bolted to the trailer and soon it was wrapped up like a Christo and Jeanne-Claude installation.
On completion of the wrap up (so to speak) of the days work the corporate beer cache was broached as the two people throng stood back to admire a job well done. The veritable orgy of mutual backslapping and congratulations was in full swing when slowly a new unthought of issue revealed itself . The sculpture and trailer were now several feet higher than the garage doorway through which it was supposed to pass on its way down to Sydney.
At this point the Directors of B2B Transport Co moved into high gear, minds racing and came to a totally unanimous decision. It was clear that the matter would be best served by setting off to the local village of Bangalow for dinner and a bottle of red to lubricate the brain corpuscles.
In the morning Plan D was rolled out. This involved letting all the air out of the trailer tyres. It very nearly worked. Even with airless tyres and the wheels running on their rims, the whole edifice was still about 2 inches or 5 cm too high.
Back to the drawing board. A simple amendment to Plan D did the job. B2B Transport Company through a unanimous vote of Directors now altered their Articles of Association and became the B2B Demolition and Reconstruction Co. One roller door was duly removed and with a fair amount of sweat, tilting of trailers and rectinal fortitude, the whole problematic assemblage was forced through the now enlarged opening. Only a few scrapes to the tarp and the doorframe was evidence of its passage through the modern day Pillars of Hercules.
Of course, as it turned out, nothing is quite as straightforward as one would have hoped. After all of this effort returning the door to a working order was not without its own set of unseen pitfalls and tests of resolve. Much sweat and indeed blood, was shed by the two Directors, when they tried to restore the roller door to its previous position. Hands were mauled adn blood spilled by a recalcitrant roller door and motor fighting every inch of the way for their independence.
The rest of the trip was quite uneventful and with the help of 5 able bodied young men a crane truck the sculpture was installed on the cliff top overlooking Tamarama Bay without much further ado.
Which after the previous challenges seemed to be a bit of an anticlimax.
These images show the work installed above Tamarama Bay near Bondi