Day One: Painting has begun!
The cradle is a 20ft long suspended platform which raises and lowers the length of the wall and will be our home for the next few weeks...finally around 3pm we made our first assent up the wall.
Day one at the mural is complete and what a day. The day started early, Vanice and I were first to arrive onsite. Vanice who is filming the progress of the mural had her camera, shoulder rig, and tripod, I had my bags. We were all set and just had to wait for the rest of the team to arrive. The team is made up of a project manager, security officers, a cradle engineer and two other skilled contractors who will be painting the mural with me.
Once everyone had arrived we headed outside for an induction at the cradle. The cradle is a 20ft long suspended platform which raises and lowers the length of the wall and will be our home for the next few weeks. The induction was interesting, invaluable and lasted around an hour. Next it was onto a full on certified harness training course, this lasted half the day and ended in a timed written exam. We all passed! Phew!
We received our harnesses and tried them on.
After the training course it was then onto another meeting; A pre-start meeting with the Project Manager and the other parties involved and then finally around 3pm we made our first assent up the wall.
It was a strange sensation as the cradle platform whirred and clicked, swung and bopped its way up the 130ft wall. All the way up the wall we had our backs to the view. When we finally locked in place at the top of the winch line, we turned around and took in the epic view of the Manchester skyline; Cranes and people, cars and hills. It was amazing and a little intense but not overwhelming, I love being up high and seeing a place from a perspective that you don't get to see everyday. It was quiet and peaceful.
As I painted, I found myself lost in the process. It is a strange feeling to be up so high up and so vulnerable and yet to feel so secure and at ease. I am sure, however, that not everyone would feel this way, and truth be told when the cradle would begin to swing away from the wall as gusts of wind swished around the building, even I was momentarily jolted out of my sense of calm.
By the end of the day we had completed around a third of the first base coat of paint. Tomorrow is set to be dry and sunny, and with no more meetings scheduled it should be a full day of painting and progress.
See you soon,