Yesterday I was sat at work when the phone rang. It was one of the organisers of Light Night saying that the courtroom, which is the room next to the tunnels where my project will be, had come free, and would I be able to do something with it?
This is where people will be coming in to get to the tunnels (you walk into the dock of the courtroom then down some stairs, the way the prisoners would have done), so of course I said yes. I hoofed it over to the Town Hall to have a look. The room is huge, and all traditionally wood-panelled with chandeliers. It isn't actually used as a courtroom anymore, but it's quite often used for filming of Emmerdale and other TV programmes, so you may have seen it already. There's a huge table in the middle of it which would be perfect for folding.
I came away a little nervous, but very excited. To be offered an opportunity to do more is great, but it's only five weeks away and I don't want it to look like a half-arsed attempt. We were discussing ideas as I wanted to keep the cranes separate from the courtroom so you still had the impact, but I want it all to look connected. After a bit of thinking, and some messing about with models, I hit upon an idea.
The 'thousand crane' story is an ancient Japanese legend, popularised by the story of Sadako Sasaki, and I often have to explain this. What if I made the courtroom into a sort of prelude to my thousand cranes? I could have some information up, and the sailboat folding in there. Thinking about making it about Sadako and the Japanese legend led me to thinking about making the courtroom into a peace garden. Lots of origami cherry blossoms 'growing' out of the courtroom, taking over the place of judgement and turning it into a place of peace and contemplation.
So this is my challenge. As well as finishing the thousand cranes project, now I need to make cherry blossoms. I'm planning on calling on volunteers to help, so if you want to get involved, please let me know. And wish me luck!