Thursday, 22 June 2017
People Dropping on our Heads!
I am still working on a couple of smaller residencies which, instead of a block of time, involve me doing odd days here and there. One of these is the Symbiochem research project, on synthesising menthol. I did my final bit of sketching for them recently.
It was a similar set-up to previous occasions, with people being interviewed about the issues associated with the idea of creating menthol by manipulating E-Coli bacteria. This time though, we met in a rather unusual venue - a climbing wall. It turns out they have meeting rooms.
The climbing wall was housed in a huge, ex-steelworking space in the post-industrial area of north-east Sheffield. The experience of entering was a bit tardis-like: the incredible height on the inside didn't seem to match the outside of the building. To get to our room, we had to walk up a gantry in the middle of the space, with climbers attached to the walls at various heights all around us.
Our meeting room was suspended high in the climbing space, looking out on the people scaling the walls. It was a shame I didn't have time to draw them, but I made a mental note, thinking about a future sketchcrawl...
We soon got down to business, a group of about 8 of us sitting casually around a table loaded with menthol products, and I did my best to capture what people said.
I would forget where we were until, every now and then, there would be a huge CRASH: a booming kind of noise that shook the whole room, like an explosion. the first time it happened, it really made me jump. We worked out that there must be climbers above us and, every so often, one would fall off and land on the ceiling of our little room!