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Installation of the cloths

Usually all the case building has to be completed before any objects are allowed in. However Diaghilev is an exception because there are two huge stage cloths which are so big they have to be installed first and the exhibition built around them The Firebird backcloth is 10x16m and probably the largest object in the V&A. It is exciting to see them being carefully unrolled and raised into position by the V&A’s skilled technicians and conservators. The press have been invited in to photograph. As always it is Prince Schervashidze’s copy of Picasso’s Two Women Running on the Beach, created …

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An Empty Space

First chance to look around the exhibition space – empty. The last few displays from the previous show Quilts are being removed. That has been a huge success, so our show has a lot to live up to. We have been given all three galleries, about 1,300 m2 – completely empty, they look huge. However, once cases and partitions go in the space will shrink dramatically – and, of course, we hope it will be full of visitors as well! The V&A keeps galleries shut for as little time as possible so the “turn around” period is just seven weeks. …

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Introducing the team

Only two months to the opening of Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes 1909-1929 – the V&A’s special exhibition for Autumn 2010 – so started my blog. Hope to give you an insight into the run up to a major exhibition here, and an idea of some of the challenges we face. And of course we hope you will want to come to the show itself! It’s a rare opportunity and it’s unlikely that many of the exhibits will be seen again here for many years. But first the team. I’ve been the V&A’s Curator of dance …

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And now the end is near, its time to face the final curtain…

Actually I had high hopes for this my final blog. I rang the 'IT Crowd' with the suggestion that they could do something wizzy and overlay this entry with Ole' Blue Eyes singing 'My Way'. However, we got involved in a long discussion about copyright and I started to lose the will to live. However you get the gist – I am yesterday's woman, I've had my 15 minutes of fame, I am about to be put out to grass. I said my final goodbye to Quilts 1700-2010 with atour for the agedmother (a cross between Mrs Malaprop and Count …

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Lighting up the Woodshed

Pictured above is Danny Wicke, an instructorfrom Rural Studio, whohas come over to the UK this week from Alabama to install the Woodshed's light vine. This photograph is probably one of my favourite images of the exhibition so far, and comes courtesy of Laura Southall – our fantastic exhibition assistant. The internal lighting for the structure will provide a striking contrast with the ambient space of the Porter Gallery which we plan to illuminate at a very low level – so both the Rural Studio and Vazio S/A projects will appear like lanterns when visitors walk into this dimly-lit gallery …

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‘Ratatosk’ and ‘Spiral Booths’ construction time-lapse

Thanks to Peter Kelleher in the V&A Photo Studio, here is some fantastic construction time-lapse photography for two of the structures in the '1:1' exhibition – Helen & Hard's 'Ratatosk', in the John Madejski Garden, and Vazio S/A's 'Spiral Booths' in the Porter Gallery: http://www.vimeo.com/12509535 http://www.vimeo.com/12509503 As a companion piece for the Spiral Booths time-lapse footage, here's the original3-D framework visualisation that the Vazio S/A team sent us a few months back, as a comparison: http://www.vimeo.com/11994858

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Helen & Hard ‘Ratatosk’ – willow canopy

The Helen & Hard 'Ratatosk' climbing structure is nearing completion in the V&A John Madejski Garden. Another gorgeous sunny day in South Kensington…the two project architects on site, Dag Strass and Caleb Reed, have now grafted strips of willow onto the stumps of the CNC-carved ash trees to create a stunning roof canopy. Taking a close look at the ten ash trees in this bright sunlight, it is fantastic to see the raw, unfiltered quality of the rough exterior bark – complete with moss and gnarled knots. Such a dramatic contrast with the very precise planes that have been carved …

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Finishing touches for the Fujimori Beetle’s House

The Beetle's House construction team have spent most of today applying some final touches to the teahouse. Much of this latter stage of construction has focussed on the interior of the teahouse – in particular the small charred blocks of cedar which have been applied to the inside walls (shown in Terunobu Fujimori's sketch, below), and the installation of the teaset which has been designed by a student from the Royal College of Art Ceramics Department, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen. One change that has occurred since the concept stage (as represented by this sketch) is that instead of having six separate …

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Sou Fujimoto Inside/Outside Tree – a final polish

The protective layers of adhesive sheeting have finally been removed from Sou Fujimoto's 'Inside/Outside Tree', revealing the transparent acrylic beneath. Having been so familiar with the structure in its 'wrapped' form, it's quite breathtaking to see the full, dramatic effect of the tree's transparency, and the delicate 'stitching' of the cable ties, especially as set against the floods of daylight that spill into the Architecture Gallery landing – the location of this structure. It will be quite stunning to see this structure when it basks in the late afternoon sunlight of the summer months that lie ahead of us. http://www.vimeo.com/12369550

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On-site construction for ‘Spiral Booths’ begins…

The construction team from MDM Props have set themselves up in the Porter Gallery, and have started to assemble Vazio S/A's 'Spiral Booths' – a structure consisting of a number of intimate performance booths set around a spiral staircase. The skeleton steel framework has now gone up, reaching the ceiling of the gallery. Over the next week, the booths and facade cladding will be installed, and the team will dress the structure with the red velvet curtains which mark the entrance of each of the booths. Below is a 3-D rendering which Carlos Teixeira (director of Vazio S/A) sent to …

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