Friday, 17 August 2012

The Olympics

What an amazing time it has been - extraordinary performances by our athletes, incredible organisation, cheering crowds, wonderful volunteers and the beautiful Olympic Park.

There must surely be inspiration for textile work hidden in these delights.

We had tickets for the athletics stadium on the middle Saturday and had a wonderful day along with 300,000 other visitors.

After our session in the stadium, we wandered for several hours around the park, taking photographs and drinking in the extraordinary atmosphere.

There were many art installations to be seen and enjoyed, as well as the stadiums themselves and the drifts of flowers planted as landscaping alongside the waterways and paths that wind through the park.

One of the most extraordinary things we saw was a length of twisting, angled mirror tiles fixed to the outside edge of one of the bridges opposite the athletics stadium. It was beautiful in itself as it changed constantly with the distorted and offset images of the canal and of the people walking below, but if you positioned yourself just right beneath it, you could see spectacular upside down reflections of the stadium distorted by the mirror's curves - beautiful.

The main athletics stadium was a triumph - and a great surprise. It drew the eye where ever you were in the park with its stark lines and simple form. Those white triangles we all saw on the television each night, lit up with a myriad of changing colours and which suggested a solid outside wall, were an illusion. They were constructed of 2.5 metre wide polyester and polyethylene fabric panels (good to see textiles represented!) These panels were twisted at 90o angles and held in place with tensioned cables. You could walk in and out of them and look up to see extraordinary angles between the fabric panels and the structural girders of the stadium.

Perhaps the most unexpected image that stayed in our minds was of the beautiful, varied drifts of colour given to the park by the wild flowers planted along the waterways and paths. They were quite glorious in their rich colours and in the natural profusion of the planting. Here especially, there must be inspiration for textile work.

Will I weave, stitch, print, paint or a use combination of all those? I guess time will tell. One thing we did know, my husband and I, was that this had been one of the most inspiring and exciting days of our lives. We felt so lucky to have been able to take part in it all .... and I haven't even mentioned the pleasure of being in the stadium when Usain Bolt ran his heat in the 100 metres and when Jessica Ennis jumped in the long jump and threw her javelin. But I suspect those pleasures have been much mentioned elsewhere.......

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