Thursday, 12 February 2015

Return to sender.

Sometimes I wonder about the whole process of sending art over seas.
I don't deny that it is great to branch out and meet fellow artists from other countries.
It is also great to be part of an international show.
However the red tape and Hoo Ha that goes with freighting and customs agents leaves a lot to be desired and is nothing short of teeth grinding frustration for the most part.

My "Forbidden Fruits-Red Yellow Blue"
went to New Zealand in 2013 for the World of Wearable Art Show (WOW)
It stayed on for most of the year that followed and came back just before Christmas 2014.
On opening the box  I found that only 2 of the three garments were there.
It took some time for the third Yellow piece to be located,
it was somewhere in Auckland as I understand,
and finally it found it's way home to it's maker today.
But OH MY! What a process to pick it up!
I chose to drive the two hours to Sydney to get it as delivery was quoted as $295 to my home!!!!!!!
Yes, one small box that I could pick it up with one hand.
Only about 1/2 a meter square.
 It contained only paper and silk.
It be transported from Sydney to the Blue Mountains - $295!

What I hadn't been told was that to pick it up I needed to have closed shoes and a fluro safety vest.
You know the kind that every one puts on when they go to the shop?
Why would I need to be told that?
As it happens I always wear closed shoes but today I thought I would wear the walking sandals that I bought two days ago on special from 'sumit gear' an outdoor and bush walking gear shop….
the first sandals I have had in about ten year and the first time I had worn them!
Sturdy and sensible outdoor walking shoes.
Of course!
Well the guy at the boom gate told me to come back tomorrow with better attire.
I am nursing a very unhappy and painful hip and knee at present and the trip to the city is nothing short of eye watering with short out burst of screeches and groans so the thought of making the 2 hour return to the mountains without the costume only to have to do it all again tomorrow was horrific!

I asked why one of the forklifts that were buzzing about on the other side of the boom gate couldn't just bring my little box down to the gate?
I could see the box only 10 meters away.
He said call this number and ask the office.
So I tried but my phone had decided not to work, totally dead,
and no obvious reason why it had gone into a comber so I couldn't call the office.
I kept trying for an hour…then two hours...
But it wouldn't work I couldn't make any calls.
So the boom gate guy toddled on down to me and said in his broad Italian accent
"go buy some shoes lady,at the shop it's not so far and buy a vest from me. It will be better for you."
I had no idea where to look in Matraville for shopping centres  I couldn't even google shops as my phone wasn't working!

So I went looking for shops to buy shoes for this complete circus of a freighting company.
After much searching with no luck I found an op shop with shoes
that matched the clown persona I had to become in this circus situation.

I bought his safety vest.
Walked through the boom gate.
Into the office….no machinery…no vehicles….nothing that my walking shoes couldn't have coped with.
They stamped the paper.
I drove my car to the other side of the boom gate and the fork lift put the very light small box in the car.

So it took all day….I have my costume….but will I do it again?

I probably will…..but not just now…….
and perhaps I will use the post rather than freight in the future.

The things we do for art!

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