My final chapter of Colourscape for now
The title sounded a bit ominous in my head, so I added the hopeful "for now" there. Because I certainly hope and believe this only to be au revoir, not goodbyes. Today was the final public day. And what a day it was! The queue was longer than ever, with people waiting one and a half hour to get inside. Although some people were quite fed up when they got to the box office, most remained calm and cheerful - and rarely no one came out hating it. The power and magic of Colourscape worked its charm in Turku beautifully.
The last week was eventful and the busiest one. After Tuesday's wet atmosphere the rest of the week was dry and mostly sunny, though a bit chillier. I did the final workshops on my own and they were great, although to my annoyance I completely forgot the word "synesthesia" while describing it. Doing workshops was fun and a great experience - something I would love to do again in future. I had a day off on Friday, but I just couldn't stay away from Festival One. The British team wasn't surprised seeing me there; they had noticed my work enthusiasm. But it was great just to be inside, hang around and chat with my friend, take loads of pictures, and almost fall asleep under the fan in the arms. Saturday was our record day at the box office with 1152 visitors. Altogether during three weeks, a little over 15 000 visitors came by - that is an incredible number and a nice nudge for the man, who on the very first day when we started the set up passed us by with his children and said "All the capital of culture nonsense comes from England". This week we have also celebrated a birthday and had a nice dinner at the restaurant. They were evenings full of laughter and joy and well deserved after all the hard work.
I have been rather wistful for the whole week, especially today. Spreading the groundsheet, folding the structure, riding the Beast, clipping, putting the canopy up, getting the front of house sorted out... everything was, although fun, a bit sad as well. I love studying and cultural history, but at the moment I would much rather work with Colourscape than get back to my books and writing my thesis. If I could put my two loves - history and Colourscape - together, I could be happy and content for the rest of my life. I certainly won't give up trying, nor will I stop comparing flight prices. This year's Clapham Common festival may be a bit too ambitious, but we'll see.
As this is most likely my last text about the work - next week is all about cleaning, so nothing too interesting to write about - I should probably tell you what the experience has been like on the whole and what I have learned. First, working with Colourscape is one of the best things ever happened to me. Three weeks was not enough! Thanks to Marika, Turku 2011 foundation and British Council! Second, I have learned many things about myself: what role I take in a team, how do I handle stressful and tricky situations, how far can I go with my strength and stamina, how are my people skills, plus a million practical things which will come handy later whether related to Colourscape or not. The biggest thanks for the latter goes to Kitt and Paul. They were the first people apart from Simon the Finnish team met in London, and I still remember thinking they were a bit scary. Well, they're not that scary anymore and they answer my questions - stupid and relevant ones - patiently and helpfully as well as explaining everything in detail. The rest of the team - Izzy, Mary, Inkeri, Kristin, Susanna, Valtteri, Chester, Chris and Timo - have been great to work and hang around with. We proved out to be an efficient team with each having own comfort areas of work and a great enthusiasm toward the job. I learn best from other people, and everyone has been an excellent teacher. I hope to stay in touch with them and who knows, if things go smoothly, we may have a chance to work together again. Thanks also to Lynne and Peter, with whom I have had interesting conversations about the past, present and future of Colourscape and about colours in general. What Peter taught us will stay in my mind, and I will pay more attention to the colours from now on. And thanks also to Simon for the teas and help!
As for the colours... My favourite colour has been blue ever since I was a child. In Colourscape I found two more favourites. One is yellow, which comes together in grey bubble from red and green, and the other is a colour I don't really know a name to. Kitt said it's magenta, Paul described it as reddish pink, someone in the workshop said it's the same colour as lingonberry porridge. I tried to take pictures of red capes in the blue line, when the colour can be seen, but it didn't come out right. It is something I can only see in Colourscape - something worth waiting for to see again. Kitt also told me that there is only one place in Colourscape where you can see brown. Although I knew exactly where it was supposed to be, I didn't have enough time to track it down properly. That's also something to look for!
When the air was coming out for the last time, I walked inside the structure and waited for it to come lower and lower. The arms - the colourful passages which can be seen from the black hole - were breathtakingly beautiful. The evening sun added the extra touch. Festival One went to sleep and after next week it should be clean and ready for Clapham Common.
I have been able to hold back tears, but if I keep going on writing this, I may just start crying. So I let pictures do the rest of the talking. So thank you for your attention! When I wrote the job application in the spring, I was thinking having a different kind of summer with hard work and fun. It turned out to be not only those, but also educational and revealing and really colourful. To put it in one word: wicked!