In the past couple of weeks i have spent a couple of days volunteering for Reactor, inside the abandoned old fire station next to Piccadilly Station, helping them set up The Tetra Phase.

Set in a disused historic building in Manchester, The Tetra Phase presents an immersive journey into subjective experience. On each Saturday throughout October, groups of the public will venture into this disconnected environment, known only as ‘The Station’, to interact within an immersive installation. Working together at some points, but in opposition at others, the groups’ journeys will intersect as they locate their individual pathways through the constructed possibilities of this labyrinthine space.

My volunteering jobs have been quite varied, but all very messy! One of the first jobs i had was to clear rubble out of the rooms in the building that were going to be used for the event. This was an absolutely filthy task as the building had not been touched for about twenty years but luckily i had a huge pair of overalls, gloves and a dust mask. With rat poison and a dead pigeon to contend with i spent time in these small rooms getting on with my list of things to do and occasionally jumping with fright when i thought i heard the sounds of a rat scurrying around! Lots of the rooms even had some of their original wallpaper still intact, even if it was covered with pigeon poop and i spent part of my time amusing myself by photographing this. Not so amusing was when i was in one of the smaller rat poison filled rooms trying to shave the door down so it would close properly. I was so excited at managing to get the door shut after using various power tools but hadn’t realised that handle had rusted up so once the door had slammed shut i couldn’t turn the handle to get it open! So all in all the jobs were really messy and involved lots of ladder climbing and cleaning but it was definitely worth it to spend time inside the building which was like a huge maze of uninhabited and derelict homes.