Return to Darkness XVII

art, recent work

Monday, October 25th, I take the first load to the main library yard: walls, trestles and roof support. Erkki stays in workshop with the roof frames to drill the missing holes – 170 of them, in 5.0 mm thick iron. This part of work may be the toughest of it all.
At library, Simo helps me to unload. Pekka and Eemeli from Italfalò come to install the gas heater, but fire inspection will have to wait until everything is done. 2011 Foundation security officer Esa Pärnä is encouraging as always, and Pekka also kindly reminds me to rest a little… such things matter more than one could think.
Having found the optimal spot to raise this building, the rest of the week is spent by fitting everything into place – first making the lower walls level on sloping ground by the help of wedges, then attaching them in the right angles. This is night work; I do it alone under a moon that is once more beginning to wane. Next day, Erkki and I raise the roof frames… and again: good cooperation is a most beautiful thing, a dance. Hyvin kaunis.
Attaching the doorpieces is also four-hand work (at least), so I get some help from those teenager guys from Iran and Afghanistan who use to hang around at the yard. Friday morning is a crucial moment: I remove the roof support. Now terrastella stands on its own.
Then fastening all loose pieces by 170 screws in those 170 holes… now this takes time, and doesn’t even work out well – despite Erkki’s coming to help – and by the end of the day I realize the ground support has changed too much. Replacing the wedges with pieces of cut wood has caused the whole thing to move, angles changing and straight line edges collapsing into curves – and so, the glassfibre pieces simply don’t fit anymore. I have to call Simo to bring the wedges back, and start all over again. Luckily, the library café is a warm spot in every sense – Stefano, the cafe owner, cooks Sicilian pasta and offers coffee, Daryl from Vancouver makes teriyaki with a Canadian touch of maple syrup, the limoncello cake is irresistible and everyone is friendly. And on Saturday, Esa passes by once more, telling me not to give up.
On Sunday, finally, tough lady Leila – one of the persons employed to guard our cots – joins me to fit in those last missing pieces, the clear star that stretches downwards from the rooftop. We spend seven hours in the damp and cold, and finally – it’s there. A passer-by tells me that the terrastella resembles a House of Dreams – well, it is a House for Listening, so why not.
Meanwhile, Reiska is more than busy with his own work, so no photos from this part of the process…

Monday, November 1st, the felt pieces and benches are installed and fire inspection is done. Visitors and friends help me translate “House for Listening” to several languages – Spanish, Czech, Finnish, Italian, Sicilian, Dari, Pashtun, Farsi – and write it on pieces of plywood, which I attach to the official signpole – adding Swedish and English. I light the fire and invite the teenager guys to share the warmth and some snacks, and Päivi from the City of Turku 2011 office joins us. Finally, Päivi helps me load the huge trestles on my trailer, before I leave for Stockholm with the night ferry.

During the same day, Reiska’s Honeycot is transported from Barker to the square by the cathedral and raised by the help of a crane lorry.

We made it.


The terrastella on Monday evening, Nov 1st; photo by Heli Lempa

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