The Ball of String

Josephine Cachemaille, Town Hall, 2009, mixed media Sanderson Gallery

When the residents of the town awoke one morning to discover that a gigantic ball of string had been deposited on the roof of the town hall everyone gathered to discuss this mysterious occurrence. Some were afraid, thinking it a presage of doom. Others thought it a benevolent (if not somewhat cryptic) gift from God. All of them were puzzled as to what they should do about the giant ball of string.

"I know," exclaimed the Mayor. "Let's market it. Let's brand it. Let's make the string our thing like the towns with the giant trout and the giant carrot and the giant gumboot."

Everybody was so excited by the idea that they immediately set about transforming their nondescript town into String Town. Signs were erected proclaiming their town 'Home of the World's Largest Ball of String'. An architect was employed at great expense to design a stylish platform alongside the hall so that tourists (for a modest fee) could climb up and look at the ball of string up close. A perspex box was affixed to the roof of the town hall to protect the ball of string from the elements and from souvenir hunters who might be tempted to snip away at it and a new town hall was built nearby because the old hall, which was now the edifice supporting the precious ball of string, was designated a heritage site.

Macrame plant-holders festooned the main street of the town and the local businesses changed their names to witty string themed names like the 'String Me Along' dating agency and the 'No Strings Attached' finance company. Plans were made for an annual string festival with a string bikini contest, string and spoon races, and a string rolling marathon. The town was gripped by string fever and the residents experienced a boom the likes of which they had never known.

But one night as the good folk of String Town slept soundly in their beds the sky kitten reached down her paw and batted away the ball of string that she had dropped leaving nothing but a large dent in the roof of the old town hall.

"What ever will we do now?" the townsfolk cried when they discovered that the ball of string had vanished.

"I know," said the Mayor who had a positive spin for every situation. "We'll carry on as usual. All we have to do is alter the signage to 'String Town - Former Home of the World's Largest Ball of String'.

And that's just what they did.


This is one of the ten stories I'm writing about the works in the exhibition Far Far Away...Romance, Anxiety and the Uncertainty of Place, curated by Karl Chitham. Hokianga Art Gallery, Rawene, 27 June - 30 July 2009. To see more of Josephine's very cool work click here


Meliors Simms said…
heh heh great story, I hope you can share more since I don't think I can make to to Rawene for the exhibition

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