Firstly, we had to take final delivery of 90 sculptures. These were cast by the team at Lockbund Foundry, who mould and produce my wildlife sculptures in bronze or silver. This lost wax process has involved numerous trips back and forth to the foundry over the last three years. I have to check and finally patinate each sculpture.
Then I had to create a modular system of wooden plinths for the show. We painted them basalt grey, a colour that runs throughout the show, from the walls to the catalogue. I had to come up with a system of colour coding so that we can stack them up for delivery. Of course, I won’t need plinths for the Life Size Camel or my Andalusian Stallion. The stallion is being moved from Blenheim Palace to a prime position on the Mall. Both Henry Moore and Mark Wallinger have shown important sculptures there. As you can imagine the delivery and installation schedule is a logistical puzzle I couldn’t manage on my own without the Mall Galleries team and fine art handlers Aston Spinks.
Speaking of puzzles, in preparation for my show I printed out a floor plan to scale (10:1) of Mall Galleries on a roll of canvas. Then I cut out scaled models of all the plinths so I could move them around. This meant I could see how they best worked in the space. It is like a massive jigsaw until we are completely happy with the flow. It will make the actual installation infinitely easier. In addition, we have also blown up some of photographs I have taken on field trips. I think this will add an additional visual element to the show.
Finally, I have commissioned a gorgeous set of pots in core ten steel that rust beautifully, by the very clever Passion for Pots. I am going to plant them with Quercus Ilex – a soft evergreen oak – and create a central park in the gallery for my Roe Deer. Hopefully it will create a bit of atmosphere and context for my outdoor sculptures.
In the meantime we have had a phenomenal response to the catalogue, with some sculpture editions like Life Size Swift selling out even before the show opens! I am so excited to see all my sculptures created over the past three years, together for the first time. I am also nervous but looking forward to seeing some friendly faces again.