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People Like You - before pink / 3 March 2013

Bright metal grab rails screwed onto a large board and spelling the word 'People' on display in the Ozweld workshop

Detail from 'People Like You' - the grab rails

Zoom in to this image and read text description

Finally the grab rails are a reality; I have pictures! They were taken at the workshop before the letters went to be powder-coated, but suddenly the faintly niggling feeling that it might all be an illusion has been replaced with elation.

It seems so very long ago that I had an idea for an installation and did the first grab rail doodles, then photographed my own grab rails and Photoshopped them into the right shapes. I enjoy making my own artwork, but months of pondering and positioning of ready-made grab rails resulted in the acknowledgement that this one was quite beyond me. Hesitantly I enquired of a sculptress friend who declared that this was a job for a professional welder and gave me an introduction to the friendly team at Ozweld.

After I lost all the work on my old computer I had managed to remake images of the grab rails from screen grabs, so what on earth would Shaun make of this?

I needn't have worried; after our initial discussions Cathryn emailed me CAD image options, and there they were; proper designs. Like the original, but better for Shaun's technical know-how. I made decisions, the materials were ordered and then it was all out of my hands.

In the meantime I've been really busy with 'Creatives in Con.Text' - having the conversations and interpreting the edited texts on my new computer, in hand-drawings and in the soft sculpture; and 'People Like You' the exhibition, has grown to include work by Sue Austin and Liz Crow.

It is very exciting to be exhibiting with these two talented artists and co-curating alongside Karen MacDonald of Salisbury Arts Centre, and Trish Wheatley from DAO. The grab rails have had a feeling of unreality, after all I had lost them once, so I almost didn't believe in them - until now.

From being quietly in the background, they are now looking fabulously real.


My fingers close around smooth whiteness,
yes there is a certain thankfulness, but also
that little dip on the happiness scale.
I dream of other than regimented angles,
long for personal colours and traces
of individual flair. How cool would it be to own
inspirational swoops and curls, smiles
on my architecture by Dali; roots and branches
Gaudi-esque, creeping sensuously over the walls!
What if...but hey, I have 'People Like You'
big on my horizon, and my fingers itch to close
around magenta-pink and complex
fun; the grab me and laugh - anything
is possible, provocative grab rails.