If you follow my stories on instagram you’ll have seen I was in Hyde Park in London filming a very special (to me) and temporary art installation. But what of it, you ask? I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about inspiration, if I may.
What is a Mastaba?
It’s an ancient Egyptian tomb meaning ‘House for eternity’ or ‘Eternal house’. Basically a tomb for the well-to-do from the early dynastic period. Normally constructed out of mud bricks around the Nile, they’d build these huge tombs for their eminent dead.
What’s this Mastaba made of?
7,506 horizontally stacked barrels on a floating platform, with the aid of several lengths of scaffolding tube. With a total weight of 600 metric tonnes, it was held in place with 32 6-tonne anchors to stop it floating around and mowing down tourists on pedalos. As it was only a temporary installation, the whole thing will be recycled. To give you a sense of scale, it was 20m high, 30m wide and 40m long (that’s metres, not miles).
What’s this ‘inspiration’ you talk of?
Christo and Jeanne-Claude have, over the years, created some ridiculous pieces. When I say ridiculous, I mean on a grand scale. They were, and are, artists with ambition. Sadly Jeanne-Claude is no longer with us but Christo continues their life’s work to this day.
To have an idea is easy. To turn that idea into reality takes time, money, patience and a million other things I have neither the time or space to list here - you get the idea. When you have an idea for something on a large scale, it takes a little something extra to achieve it.
Some of their projects were years in the making - something I can definitely relate to as some of my shots are going to take over ten years - a couple of them will also outlive me by the time they’re finished! Some of their projects have never made it to completion - mostly because of denied permissions and people not sharing the same vision.
The Mastaba, however, only took a couple of years to get off the ground. A lot of paperwork as usual I should imagine but fairly rapid compared to their other works.
The reason I’m inspired by something like this is that I, like yourself, have a few ideas up my sleeve. I’ve got some big projects happening but there’s a few that I need to dedicate more time to. If someone can float 7,506 barrels in the middle of the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park then there’s absolutely no reason you, nor I, should get on and achieve our dreams.
Talking of time and lack thereof, I recently discovered an app called ‘Mute’ which shows you how long you spend on your phone each day. A lot of my use is mostly for work and the related but I have been cutting down to spend my time a bit more wisely. Mostly because you never know how much of the stuff you have left but more importantly, your time here should be put to better use than checking facebook to see what your ex is up to etc.
So - what are you going to do to achieve your dreams today? In the meantime, here’s some of the shots from our day shooting: