Trish sits back and reflects on the preparations for ‘Creating the Spectacle!’ at the Chesil Bank and Fleet Nature Reserve, Dorset. / 12 October 2011
We turned into the Fathom and Blues car park at lunchtime to a moody sky and brisk North-Westerly wind. Today was another day in this weird and wonderful life I am living as part of the creative team for Sue Austin’s Unlimited commission ‘Creating the Spectacle!’.
As autumn sets in and the days become ever shorter I was a reluctant support diver. In fact, when it came to dive time in the late afternoon I felt the need to be a dry, warm, out of the water surface support person more and more! And so, our three intrepid neoprene-clad explorers Sue (this time without the underwater wheelchair), Rob (our brilliant dive leader) and Adi (support diver and inventor of highly visible underwater wheelchair navigation aids) entered the water to assess the high-tide depths and seabed composition.
I filmed the action with slight regret having not followed them down the very slippery slipway into the Fleet lagoon, but satisfied knowing that I wouldn’t be exiting the water forty minutes later with aching numb hands and feet.
I sit in Sue’s powerchair at the shore’s edge watching the divers silhouetted at the surface with the sun shining brightly from behind the Chesil beach which creates the foreshortened horizon. This place can be a warm, welcoming and utterly stunning one but another day, even in a few hours, it can change into a chillingly hostile environment. I can see why some people think the odds are against the planned live performance in just under 11 months time.
The Shores of Fleet Lagoon, 7th October 2011