‘New Dawn’: The women’s suffrage artwork for Parliament, part 4/5 – Installing the artwork

‘New Dawn’: The women’s suffrage artwork for Parliament, part 4/5 – Installing the artwork


– [Voiceover] I became
involved with New Dawn during the prototyping phase, so after Mary had just finished her six months residency with
Parliament, taking in all the sense of place, and all the history of the place. This building has been around
for nearly a thousand years. One thing which I love
about this building is that, in its Gothic Perpendicular
style, where the piece will be located, it’s this incredible
soaring, mass of stone. However, at the same time,
it’s all very, very masculine, so part of Mary’s response
was to then go to that, and contrast against that. For us, I think the
quest was authenticity. Authenticity of materials,
authenticity of construction. We’re responding to the
materials within the place. Very many ancient materials,
the stone, and the stained glass
in the window adjacent, and also the raw iron, and we’re thinking what can we, how do we do a contemporary
take on this? Once we experiment with so many
ideas, there’s a moment where the present
design, when we saw it, we just knew it was
it. It was the one. Then, her next stage was
to take all of her ideas, and then turn it into a design, which could then be
handed to the engineers. – Back down and drop it
or do we hold it for the moment and lift it into position? – So, here we are, on the scaffold,
installing New Dawn. This is the exciting moment, and you can see all around us, this amazing stonework and tracery. This is the craftsmanship
that New Dawn is mirroring and fitting in with. You know, it is also made
by individual craftsmen, and it’s also, of course,
a challenge for us, because we’re having to
insert this very large metal and glass sculpture, get it
up past all this stonework. – We’ve got 168 pieces of glass, and the associated LED sheet to lift to not only the height of the
balcony, but then, several stories
above that as well, to get them ready to be installed, and all over the top
of the staircase, where we have candelabras,
and other items within the building,
which are all very, very precious, and very delicate, and yes,
lots of time, and lots of care needed. So the challenges
we face are the metalwork of the artwork is generally six metres long, which need to be lifted up
several stories into the air through a gap which is
not much larger than a A4 piece of paper,
with sculptures on either side, so it’s a very delicate
and time-consuming process, with many hands guiding. – Just put the central
column up in place now, the upper wall brackets,
just some studs protruding from the wall,
which have a bracket on, allowing for a little bit
of adjustment left and right, in order that we can
ensure that each column is completely vertical. Both left and right
and front and back. – So, we are now just over
halfway through the day, and we have got nearly half
of the columns lifted up into place. We have all of the glass
on the various levels of the scaffold ready
to be installed. We’ve just been lifting
the dimmer rack units up, which are hugely heavy and awkward, and they are now safely on the level, waiting to be installed,
so we have about half of the columns left to go. We’re halfway through the day. I’m really pleased. Everything has gone to plan so far. – By installing New Dawn here,
up over the main entrance to Parliament, we’re really
enlivening, making available a space
that’s always been there, and has never been noticed
because it was dark. The artwork will light it up. Suddenly, there’ll be
something to look up and see, and I think it will stop
people in their tracks. They will be absolutely
mesmerised by this artwork. And really, there’ll be
nobody who enters Parliament who doesn’t see it. – When I came here, and it’s
all behind the scaffolding, behind this big screen,
I’ve got this just incredible sense of excitement. What’s it gonna look like in its
height? It’s an incredible location,
and to have the piece there, and just to see the light
bouncing off all those details, those Gothic details of the
architecture. I just can’t wait.

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