Bergen Rocks 09 Videos
I'm sure it would be pretty easy to put together about 3 hours of video, I have a pile. There is only so much you can get from pictures though so to get the real experience you'll have to come out to the event next year, here are a few videos of different things that went on during the event, you can see it is a lot of hard work and fun too. We create our own ceremonies, emulating the places where these events are celebrated by the commuinities they are held in......these are a good demonstration that this really is a grass roots symposium, we're doing it on our own. We feel that we are making headway though, we had two volunteers from Sundre this year and one from Bergen, in the future we expect that more and more local people will get involved. We donated 30% of the admission fees to local organizations to help demonstrate that art can be beneficial to everyone where art happens.
About 5 days into it we had a flag raising ceremony, as each flag went up we sang the national anthem just like they do in other countries where symposiums are held. Two people showed up just after we started, that made our little ceremony a public event! Here's Paul....
This is an overall shot of the work area when everyone is working, it is exciting and a little noisy. Paul is uing a finger chisel, creating texture on the face of his cross, Chander is firing his bells, Chien is grinding, Gerard is polishing and Carlos is just starting back to work after changing a worn out diamond blade on his grinder.
This short clip is Chien cutting frets. After the slices are cut he will remove the frets with a chisel and hammer or a power chisel. As you get closer and closer to the final surface the size of the frets is made smaller and smaller so that a big piece doesn't come off where you didn't want them to.
Here is Chien removing the frets he cut. When working farther from the surface of the finished piece larger frets are cut and removed with hammer and chisel or a larger power chisel. Even though we aren't purists (using only traditional tools) the work that is realized in only one month is incredible.
Chien uses a large bushing hammer to flatten a surface on "Spring" This may also serve as the texture on some of the piece while other areas are polished. The bushing tool erases the small cut marks left after cutting frets.
Chander is helping Paul to cleave a large piece from his stone that will free up the underside of one of the arms of the cross. First, holes are drilled along the line and then chisels are put in and tightened progressively to apply even pressure. When they get really tight we wait a few minutes to let the energy travel through the stone then tighten agian. The whole process takes several minutes to an hour depending on the thickness of the stone etc. Listening to the energy travel and watching carefully that it is going where it should are parts of the process that take up some time and make it interesting. Here are the last few seconds before a stone wieghing over a ton is removed.
Carlos has the form now and is working the surface with a diamond cup wheel on a grinder, eventually he will work down to polishing pads and water......step by step.
Well, we had to include a shot of Old Blue in action. It chugs and bangs along but gets a lot of work done for us. This may be the oldest relic in use at a symposium anywhere. Bergen Rocks is the only grass roots international sculpture symposium in the world, that makes adapting to what we have to work with nessecary. We move a lot of stone with pulleys, rolling pieces on logs or posts etc. It is more time consuming than at larger events where all kinds of equipment is provided but gives us a challenge and the comraderie that develops as we help each other achieve our work is a big part of what makes this symposium unique.
Carlos is cutting frets on "Prelude". Although it is about 30 degrees today we have to dress up pretty good because stone dust draws the moisture out of your hair (hat, toque), the machines are loud (ear protection) the stone dust should not be breathed (respirator) and there is water flying everywhere (rubber suit and boots). No complaints from the sculptors though, the satisfaction of creating a piece of art that will be enjoyed long after we are gone is exciting enough to make all this worthwhile. The work is as hard as any job in the oil patch but we do it eagerly and the result is always considered well worth the effort.
Biesiker volunteer Mark Stuthiet gives directions to the crane as "Prelude" is guided onto it's base. Several people were out for the whole month of the event to get involved. Stephen Turner (Calgary), Robyn Webster (Calgary) and Mark were here throughout the event. Other volunteers from as far as Kelowna and Vernon put in several days, some local people offered help when they dropped in to see what was going on, inertia is building.....maybe the fun they have will inspire some to explore sculpting for themselves. The symposium offers the opportunity to learn the techniques used, it is inspiring to see peoples interest and their enthusiasm when they realize that they could also do this kind of art themselves.
On our way back from the airport one evening we stopped at the studio of Will Hamm near Cremona. Will makes stringed instruments (awesome stringed instruments) and plays them too. Here he is playing on a (?) I think it is basically an Irish guitar. We really enjoy seeing and experiencing the work of other artists, our own sing songs around the fire at night include instruments such as hammers, bottles, saw blades etc.....what ever makes a noise, and we have so much fun. These people are really creative and it is so interesting an fun to see what they will come up with next.
After the sculptures were installed we spent a couple of hours enjoying them, taking pictures with the group there etc. Here my daughter Jessica and Chander decide to get a look at the park from the top of "Gates to Heaven". What a pile of fun, the realization that the work is done is kind of sad and it seems like a rush to get as much enjoyment from the sculptures as possible before the artists have to leave them here for ever.....too heavy for checked luggage and they would get confiscated in your carry on.
Just having fun.
As I said.......Christine brought out a drum, Gerard picked it up and started a beat. Everyone there grabbed what was handy and joined in, eventually lyrics. Sing songs around the camp fire or these kinds of things that might break out at any time during the work day are a pile of fun, we are hoping that in the future more and more neighbors and other local people will visit the sympoium and experience a little of this kind of thing and add there own individual contribution. We could have a hundred people in on it, banging rocks together, sticks, whistling, knee slapping.........This little session went on for about 10 minutes but here is a short taste of it.