The exhibition is designed to be shown outdoors. It is most effectively presented when Hard Rain is on one side of a path with Whole Earth? facing it. Both displays are 64.5 metres long. The banners are printed on heavy-duty, flexible media designed for all-weather outdoor displays. The images are reproduced to the highest photographic standards using the latest printing techniques.
An indoor edition of Hard Rain is also available and larger or smaller versions of the exhibition may be produced to special order.
The text is in English. Additional languages can be substituted if required. Please check with the Hard Rain office to see if an exhibition in your language is already available.
The venue is responsible for the display frame. We provide a diagram of a frame using scaffolding components - use this to get quotes from local scaffolding companies. Other solutions are shown below.
The banners are supplied with eyelets at 50cm intervals around the edges. Heavy-duty cable ties or elastic ties are threaded through the eyelets and around the frame. (Google elastic cord / cable ties for suppliers, or obtain at cost price from the Hard Rain office).
The scaffolding frame and ties supports the exhibition in most conditions but check weather forecasts while the exhibition is on display – if gales are predicted take the banners down.
The following photographs illustrate different ways of displaying Hard Rain.
The simplest solution is to hang the banners from a wall. This has made for effective displays at several venues – University of Helsinki Botanic Garden.
Existing railings provide a secure frame for the exhibition. For the display in St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, the banners were mounted on plywood to prevent the exhibition flapping against the railings. Manchester Metropolitan University simply attached the banners to railings on the campus.
A more attractive scaffold frame was built at Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. In both cases the vertical scaffolding poles were buried in the soil to anchor the display. The only problem encountered at Edinburgh – and only on a couple of occasions – was children jumping on what they took to be a huge trampoline. No damage was done.
Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid made a similar stand from wood. This, by the way, is the display featured on YouTube with an unreleased version of ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ specially recorded by Bob Dylan for the Expo Zaragoza water conference in 2008.
The National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin built a stand with a plywood back. It was a beautiful display and kept the banner in perfect condition – or would have done if a tree hadn’t fallen on it! Part of the banner had to be reprinted…
Chester Zoo also built a wooden frame – in this case the windbreak was woven from willow. Again, a very attractive display.
A ‘sustainable’ display was created by staff and students at Syracuse University, New York, from shipping pallets. Their display was designed to give access to people in wheelchairs. A downloadable narrative podcast and additional text panels in Braille were also available.
Another US college built a wooden stand from plywood sheets. The sheets were placed end to end in two rows attached along the top. In cross-section it was a triangle held together by a wooden frame. This is a practical and inexpensive stand that minimises the risk of wind damaging the banners – see North Hennepin Community College, Minnesota.
A popular and economical way to display Hard Rain is on hired fence panels (typically used by councils or builders to section off no-go areas). Google Heras fencing or perimeter fencing for local suppliers.
The steel frames slot into heavy concrete feet. In exposed locations they will not provide enough stability if the banner is displayed in a continuous line, so in these areas the fences have been made into a triangle. This format provides the stability needed to withstand all weather conditions so far encountered – Canberra city centre display.
The fence panels can be hidden with cloth or bamboo, which may also act as a windbreak. Some companies provide made-to-measure ‘slip-on covers’ for their fence sections.
The display at Ulricehamns Kommun, Sweden is as simple as it gets. The banners were attached to the upright posts in 30 minutes.
This frame was commissioned by Lulea City Council and designed by MSP Event AB. Its simple and lightweight and made from standard display components so they are reused in other combinations after Hard Rain is taken down. Its inexpensive and held the exhibition together in a town so far north its almost in the Arctic Circle.
The display weighs approximately 60 kilos when packed so transport costs are kept to a minimum. The banners roll into two tubes, 25 cm diameter by 125cm long (approximately 12 inches diameter by 50 inches long) and can be shipped by your usual courier company.
Returning the exhibition
The banners need to be clean and dry before they are rolled up. It is important that they are rolled under enough tension to prevent the banner material "sagging" and so that it overlaps along the entire length. If the ends of the roll are not flat and square to the sides, the banner may be damaged in transit. If it begins to look like a large pencil unroll it and start again!
Do not use sticky tape on the front or back of the banners – the glue transfers to the media. If tape is used we will have to charge for cleaning or reprinting. Wrap bubble-wrap around the rolled up banners and tape over the bubble wrap to keep the roll closed.
We ship the banners packed in heavy-duty cardboard tubes or in bubble wrap. Please return the banners well packed to avoid damage.
Mark Edwards + 44 (0) 77 100 99 818
Email Mark Edwards
Anna Smith, Hard Rain Project, 199 Shooters Hill Road, London SE3 8UL, United Kingdom
+ 44 (0) 20 8858 8307
Email Anna Smith