let there be…

15 03 2011

Sorry for the lack of communication recently.  It has been a very busy and productive week!

In summary, our walls are almost finished; we have our lighting system installed; and we should have another two or three new online exhibitions opening for you soon!

Walls

Ric and I were back at the gallery last Tuesday with Ric’s dad to try and complete the rendering of the walls.  We got very close with only one side of one wall yet to be completed.  We did however run into a new problem in that the rendered finish isn’t as smooth as it should be.  So, we will be sanding them back at some stage this week.  As soon as that is done, they will be ready for painting!

Lights

The two most important things in a physical gallery space are the hanging system and the lighting system.

After hunting around for the right lighting system for months, I finally found the right one for our little gallery.  It is an extremely flexible track system that allows the lights to be clicked in and clicked out of any position on the track that they need to be.  Each light unit also has four moveable flaps on it so that light can be best directed onto the artwork.  You wouldn’t believe how many choices there are when it comes to globes, but we ended up choosing 90 degree xenon satin finish globes.  Apart from lasting 10,000 hours each, the globes offer a very soft and warm light, with no blue, green or pink colouring. 

I was at the gallery at 8am on Saturday morning to help the electrician install the lighting system.  He said that it would take between one and two days to install; and I thought that if I helped I could keep it to one day, saving me a day of labour rates.  I was wrong wrong wrong.  If a tradesperson quotes one to two days, they mean two to three days.  And they are not going to work any more quickly because they are getting help.  In fact, (and as per my case) they will probably slow down. 

He showed up late at 8.45am and started packing up by 3.30pm.  In fairness, he didn’t stop for lunch but had enough ciggie/mobile phone breaks to make up for that.  I’d estimate that I actually got about 5 ½ hours work out of him.  Not bad when you’re getting paid by the day, and not by the hour. 

And he had me working hard… the hardest I’ve worked for a long time.  Up and down ladders, measuring, cutting, lifting, holding, positioning, and installing.  By the end of the day I was sore… very sore; in both senses of the word.  We had installed nine lengths of track to the ceiling and not much else.  No wiring and no switches.  No lights.

The electrician told me he would need another couple of hours to complete the job and so he returned on Sunday.  As he would be wiring, I left him alone.  I got a call at about 3.30pm to say that he was still there.  He had wired everything up, but nothing worked so he had to go back over it and check all of the connections.  Of course, I would be paying for this.

The good news is that the lighting system is now working (and will hopefully continue to work well into the future).  Even though it cost double the estimate, it looks great and does a fantastic job. 

If this gallery business doesn’t work out, I think I will go to TAFE and do a trade.  It has to be the only ‘industry’ where you get paid to fix your own mistakes… and paid more than most other professions!

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