Powered by chip fat, this enormous crane rescued from Bristol docks is about to become the festivals dance hotspot. We have no idea if it will work, say the duo behind it
The idea, says Pip Rush, is to take over the sky. Were standing on a 140-tonne crane, 30 metres above the Glastonbury festival site. Rush and his collaborator Bert Cole are sanguine as they take in the view, but Im clutching the railings, summer breeze blowing through the jasmine of my freaking mind.
From its birth in 1975 until it was rendered obsolete by bigger kit, this crane lifted loads at Avonmouth Docks in Bristol. Rush and Cole bought it for an undisclosed sum, chopped it into two pieces, and trucked them 30 miles to Glastonbury. It was quite a performance, laughs Cole. Police escort and everything. Then we had to put it together again. He points out all the boltings and weldings, as well as the 10-metre-deep pilings that hold this beautifully incongruous monstrosity in place. Nice, though appreciating the workmanship is hardly a cure for my vertigo.
This crane will form the centrepiece of the Arcadia art collectives latest installation, Pangea, which premieres this week at Glastonbury and will remain on the site for four years. It is the pairs response to the question: how do you top a 50-tonne, fire-breathing spider?
The Spider bewitched festival-goers for the best part of a decade. Michael Eavis, who created the festival, remembers being approached by Rush and Cole. They said, Give us a cheque for 20,000. I said, But I dont know who you are. They said, Well do a show and if it falls on its face, youll get at least 10,000 back. It didnt go wrong, did it?
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