Tips for Building Seed Art
Whether it's big or small, creating an art project on the paddock can take a lot of organisation. There's the distance, the weather, the transport, the crew... But fear not, intrepid art-type person! We've pooled the best of Burner know-how and outlined the top tips for bringing your creative spark to light and life at Red Earth City.
We like to joke about safety third in the Burner community, but it would really suck to put someone’s eye out with your artwork. When you register your art you’ll notice we ask many questions about your plans for safety and lighting. All structures over 3m require approval and it is the responsibility of the artist to make sure you think about structural stability and if required get an engineer to review your plans and the impact that participants and inclement weather might have on the stability of your installation.
It is also important to consider disability at night especially for guy wires, res or star pickets, even generators. You must ensure that these items and your installation (even if it’s not a night time art feature) are lit and that your work site (including these items and your build materials if they are in piles on the ground) are lit during your construction and build phase. Lastly, all res stakes and star pickets must be capped and any stakes or pickets over 10cm deep must be approved.
If your project involves open fire (from candles to burn barrels) or flame effects of any kind, please refer to the Fire and Flame Effects page for more information
The great outdoors
High impact It is likely that your art will be subjected to one or more of the following conditions: lashing winds, torrential rain, blazing sun, bitter cold (with the potential of high winds a particular hazard to keep in mind). Have you thought about their impact on your art? Will things melt, short out or blow over?
Dry run You should try to set up the entire project once before the event. This will allow you to test everything as thoroughly as possible. Of course, there may be things that are hard to determine before you get to the site, but doing a dry run is an invaluable opportunity for trouble shooting and improvement.
Advice helps Do research and consult those with experience – you avoid reinventing the wheel and resolve a lot of problems this way.
Keep it simple Design your art so it is easy to construct onsite. Try to eliminate needless complication from fasteners, rigging etc.
How will you clean/pack it up? Think about everything you might need to transport and how easy it will be to move. Do you need special equipment or supplies?
Organise your crew Make sure everyone has everyone else’s contact details, understands their roles on the project, and knows when everyone plans to arrive on site.
Make a packing list and use it Detail all the bits and pieces that you will need in order to realise your project onsite. Then check everything off of your list methodically as you pack to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Tools Make sure you include all of the tools that you will need onsite to build your project: hammers, tape, rope, buckets, drills, saws. Think the whole process through step-by-step.
Backup supplies Construction often doesn’t go as planned, and frequently there can be damage or other problems that occur to the project on site. Do you have backup supplies/contingency plans to make sure you can repair things that might go wrong?
Power Do you have the solar panels, batteries, power points, extension cords and lights that you need? Think about your power needs all the way from the source to the endpoint to make sure you’re not missing anything. Also, make sure you have what you need to secure and protect your electrical equipment. This year we will have power points available at the ARTery space for charging power tool batteries.
Transportation Can your Honda Civic really tow that huge trailer? Make sure you accurately assess what you need to transport and if you have vehicles that are really up to the task. If not, arrange transport ahead of time rather than waiting to the last minute to find the transport you need.
Build ahead Any work or pre-building you can do ahead of time is a huge help and timesaver. Try and get as much done as possible before you have to build your project onsite.
Make it easy on yourself Once you get out there, you will have to remember how everything goes together. You’ll be a much happier camper if you prepare your materials ahead of time so they are easy to use when in the paddock. Some ideas include: label boxes so you know what’s inside them, label pieces that go together and label your tools and equipment (power cords all look remarkably similar after a week on the paddock!)
Have a plan Things will go much more smoothly if you have created a building plan and schedule, as well as specifying who is in charge of what during the construction process. You get bonus points for waterproofing, making multiple copies, and posting information prominently where your crew can find it easily.
Work with the conditions It can be rainy, windy, muddy etc. Make the most of the good weather conditions when they are around to make progress. It can be hard to predict when they will change.
Don’t assume you’ll be able to find more community crew onsite. Sure, sometimes this happens, but you don’t want to rely on it to complete your project. And, besides, trying to find people to help takes time and effort away from making/having fun.
Make it fun Seriously.The best way to combat stress and distraction is to make working on the project exciting, interesting and enjoyable.