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The Versatility of the Cherry Picker: Aiding Artistic Design and Sport

The cherry picker isn’t exactly known for being used during exciting situations. Usually, they’re used as a machine that can help maintain buildings at a height, fix telephone and electricity poles, aid construction workers, and aid workers who are trying to pick fruit.

You’d be wrong if you thought this is all the cherry picker is ever used for; the cherry picker leads a double life, and is used in the worlds of sport, film, art and music. Alongside Nifty Lifts – a specialist retailer of work platforms and cherry pickers – we take a look at how the cherry picker contributes towards some of the biggest events and artistic statements in the world.

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Giving a lift to art and music

Concert prop

In 2015, Kanye West played a blistering set of his greatest hits on the Pyramid Stage, with a mesmerising chandelier of suspended lights above him – illuminating only himself and his performance on stage. To get closer to the crowd, West used a cherry picker. By using the cherry picker in this way, it not only provided West with a modern aesthetic within his set, but also gave his performance an edge that wasn’t expected by using an unconventional prop within his set.

Creating artwork for the Wales Millennium Centre

If you’re looking to paint a mural that is eight metres wide and five metres tall, then you’re probably going to need some assistance. The painter Florence Jackson used a cherry picker to gain access to every part of her painting with ease.

Speaking about how the cherry picker helped her, Jackson claimed: ‘I had to get a cherry picker licence so I could move around the massive canvas. The funny thing is – I can’t even drive – but I now have a licence to drive a cherry picker.’ Work on the mural began on November the 2nd, and was surprisingly finished only 10 days later, demonstrating how much a cherry picker can really help when creating a grand artistic design.

Light the set: cherry pickers out of shot

If you’ve seen a film where a lone car is driving at night, and the background is nicely lit for the car, you’d probably expect it to be the moon in the shot? Not quite. Usually, cherry pickers are used out of shot to provide back lighting for many natural settings and studio sets.

Within the film industry – cherry pickers are called ‘condors’, and they are used as makeshift rigs that are mobile and provide varying heights so that a crew can gain the best lighting possible for the shot.

This isn’t usually a safe activity for lighting crews – making sure that the rig can hold the weight, isn’t below power cables, and doesn’t topple-over are all crucial checks that can help to save lives and prevent working disasters. Many within the industry need to take classes in condor operation, and there are also strict guidelines regarding how they should be operated safely.

Some essential safety features of using a cherry picker within the film industry are as follows:

  • Never put more than one big light in a basket.
  • The condor should always be based on even, sturdy ground on balancing blocks.
  • The condor should not have any hydraulic leaks and should be sought from a reputable company.
  • Never be persuaded to place condor in an unsafe area, for example, areas with overhead power lines.

With the versatility of the cherry picker proven, it’s clear that there are many uses for this all-reaching machine. From concerts to artwork to film sets, the cherry picker isn’t only used within the construction industry, and it’s potential to aid other industries in the future is promising – who knows where it will be next?

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