It Looks Like New

Rosalie Woods

'12 February 2011 13:05 - 13.48 Last clean. I wonder how long the polish will last. I've gathered objects for the archive but am in two minds about keeping them. I think I'll make last month's objects, the twelve month, the final collection. A new pattern in the mall today - a group of people are gathered outside the beauty salon, sharing conversation and drinking. I've not seen that in the mall before. Also a woman burst out of the Post Office door that is usually locked shut and not in use. As I left the lady with her shopping trolled arrived. Some things changes, some things stay the same.' Rosalie Woods, 2011

Rosalie Woods was an AIR mini-resident in February 2010.

5 December 2010 11.04-11:48 'It is bitterly cold. I’m constantly amazed how seasonal clues are visible in this seemingly lifeless corner of Archway - this month I’m greeted by a dropped picture of Santa and his sleigh.'

8 January 2011 14:40-15:32 'Clear blue sky but very cold. Dry. Archived objects feel full of colour this month. Two workmen, one wearing a UV jacket stopped to ask what we were doing. They were very perceptive, asked about the weeds, joked about invoicing the council for the cleaning, and complemented my wire brush. I have had four conversations with passers bay in twelve months: the fruit stall holder ‘It looks like new’, a smart middle aged gentleman ‘I’ve never seen anyone doing that before’, the lady with her shopping trolley who has changed her walking pattern to circumnavigate me while I’m cleaning and once stopped to repeatedly ask ‘Why are you taking photos of that big black hole?’'

19 September 2010 12:39-13:13 'It is windy, chilly and dry today. Summer feels over. I’ve gathered three dead insects from the surface: beetle shell, a wasp and fly. The charity shop has closed down, now it is a Caribbean beauty salon. The cover was clean and in good condition on arrival so just need to sweep, clean and archive.'

3 October 2010 14:50-15:25 'Its windy and cold. It was raining very heavily earlier. Due to the bad weather I didn't bring all my cleaning kit with me thinking it would be too wet to use polish.'

6 November 2010 11:47-12:30 'An autumn scene greets us, fallen leaves all around. It’s dry but there is a chill in the air. The weeds are beautifully lush and green, and the moss in the pavement cracks is thriving. Lots of objects gathered from the cover’s surface for the archive. I’ll sort them all when I get home.'

12 June 2010 20:57-21:14 'The air is warm. England is playing USA in the world cup. Streets are very quiet. Cover is beautifully clean. Just need to sweep and archive objects. No polish this month.'

11 July 2010 11:45-12:30 'It is a breezy sunny day. Trish Scott is here to film my cleaning activity. Something is spilled on the surface, you can follow the line of the spill from pavement to the surface of the cover. Using tweezers for the first time means I can gather much more from the cracks and crevices of the cover for the archive.'

8 August 2010 14:30-15:11 'Today is sunny and warm. I used turkey baster for the first time today to clear water from the key holes. It works a treat. A man urinated behind where Trish is filming. I wondered what direction his urine was going to flow in. If it travelled onto the surface of the cover I’d have to clean it. Thankfully it didn't.'

10 February 2010 'First clean. No notes taken.'

14 March 2010 11:30-12:05 'Next month I will bring cotton buds to better clean between the letters.'

18 April 2010 10:35-11:15 'The cover is dry and clean on arrival. Forgot dustpan and brush so can’t properly clean edges. Using the chisel managed to remove the last bits of concrete between E and Y of STAVELY. First chips of chewing gum gathered for archive. I think the council have killed the weeds, or maybe it’s the weather.'

16 May 2010 12:30-13:01 'Weather is overcast and windy. There is a chill in the air. Rain feels possible. Very strong smell of urine – it’s not pleasant to be in this space. A council cleaner is sweeping the mall. Something is spilt on the surface; I’m hoping it’s not linked to the smell of urine. Feel slightly nauseas. Cleaned surface with soapy water dried and polished. All cloths thrown in bin at end of clean.'