Friday, 26 July 2013

damp squib

One o'clock fun. When I heard there was to be a volley of fireworks (a kind of count down to the festival) alongside the one o'clock gun I thought I would go along to see them. I had a meeting nearby and timed it to follow the show. It is my opinion that fireworks usually work best at night but I was prepared to be proved wrong.

The crowds lined the battlements of the castle but they probably do that anyway at this time of the year for the gun going off. I worked on a project in Ramsay Garden a while ago and would video the one o'clock gun going off each day. It was nearly but not quite exciting enough to make an art installation of; the only thing of interest tended to be the crowd doing a little hop as it discharged. The toughest bit was remembering to set up the camera just at the right time. 

First the gun goes off. Then, after a moment some sulphurous emanations from behind Allan Ramsay. I googled Allan Ramsay and it turns out he was the Poet 1686~1750 and not the Artist 1713~1784. Thing is, did the artist early in his career ever paint the Poet late in his? 

More low level stuff and smouldering feet then a couple of thought bubbles high above the statue. I think at this point the organisers perhaps realised that fireworks are more of a spectacle with a black background and the show spluttered to a finish. Like a lot of the stuff that appears in Edinburgh at this time of the year it promised little and delivered slightly less.

Mary Lye drew my attention to the existence of daytime fireworks - that such things do exist and can be full of visual drama. (Although maybe dangerously close to a wartime scenario for a middle eastern country?)

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