Set-up for 400 years of Shakespeare at Hay Festival

After everyone had handed in their work for their deadline, we all car-pooled down to Hay to put our work up for the festival.

It was really exciting watching everyone's work get unrolled and revealed once we were on site. Mine was one of the last, and I'm not going to lie I started getting anxious after seeing how great everyone else's was, but it was there and it was nice to finally see it at the correct size.

Our next task was to walk around the site and place everyone's work. A few people had illustrations that were quite big or specific to certain environments, and some people had illustrations that complimented each other really well. The rest of us could be flexible around them. I chose a space for mine, and then on reflection moved it to somewhere it would look less lost.

After that we begun preparing them to be stuck up. We had to stick them on the tarpaulin with tape to imitate how they were going to be properly stuck down, so we could get them eye level etc before we did anything too permanent. I then watched the man from the printing company demonstrate how to stick the vinyl on. Still feeling a bit unconfident about doing this myself, I decided the best course of action was to help out someone else stick theirs up, and slowly work my way up to leading a small group to put mine up over the course of the afternoon.

To put it up, we had to put masking tape down the middle of it, slightly peel away the vinyl from its backing paper and stick it down. After this, we took the masking tape off and slowly peeled away the rest of it, while sticking it down. One person stuck it down, one person held the rest of the vinyl and one person held the backing paper, and between the both of them slowly peeled it off as the first person stuck it down. The person holding the back of the paper also had to lean on the tarpaulin to keep it taught in the wind.

Air bubbles were pretty standard after this, as there's only so much you can do to reduce them when it's being stuck down. We used a craft knife to pop the bubbles and then squeezed out the air. As the tarpaulin wasn't completely taught or sparkling clean, it wasn't too obvious. Sticking up my name tag was a bit easier because the blank space was transparent rather than white.

It was really exciting to see my work up in this context and I felt really proud of the rest of the class too. I think it was nice to see that we all treated each other's work with the same respect and everyone was pulling their weight helping each other out on the day. I learnt a lot of practical skills from this commission and I also gained confidence and have increased respect for my classmates.