Maypole installation

The 12 foot Maypole turned out to be one of the most technically demanding aspects of the project. It had to be sourced, decorated, health and safety checked, transported, installed and taken down again, so there were a few elements and a lot of organising.


I didn't want to use a cross base for the pole as it wouldn’t be effective in keeping the pole steady. I decided quite early on I wanted to record the dance from the base of the pole so it needed to be immobile. After some research I opted to set the pole in a hole in the ground with a setting pipe. It would securely position the pole, making it as safe as possible once held in place by concrete.


After devising my first scale drawings, taking the height and weight of the pole into consideration when deciding how deep to dig the hole, 80cm, I submitted them for a health and safety check, which passed, conditional upon a few changes. One of the biggest challenges to meet was ensuring the idea was as close to the  original form as possible, while ensuring I had covered all the health and safety bases.


Sometimes, as Robert Burns said “the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay” and so it was the case when my original maypole developed a crack in storage a couple of weeks before the exhibition and had to be replaced. I had sourced it early and it had dried out.

This was inconvenient but there was enough time to rectify the matter.


The Maypole aspect of the project required planning and organisation skills to ensure the 12 foot pole was transported and installed in a public park safely prior to the performance. I was working with materials I wasn't that familiar with, including concrete and cement, so I knew my plans had to be detailed.


My scale drawings being accepted and subsequently the pole developing a crack and having to be replaced quite close to the deadline put my problem solving skills to the test. In managing to surmount the mundane but important difficulties when they arose is something I will take forward with me when managing projects in the future.