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Maintenance - 2014

"Maintenance" was almost a piece of protest art. I had been stuck in my own practice for quite some time. I had also been working with a lot of colour. There was a wall in the studio that people were using as a dumping-ground for bikes and trash, and space in the studio was at a premium. It was a really beat-up diving-wall, with holes in it and large bumps and warps. I spent an afternoon grafting - sanding, filling, painting, clearing. By the evening, my hands were cracked, bleeding and raw. With my new, perfectly white space, I then had the urge to trash it. Trying to be sensible, I hung a 5ft X 7ft piece of paper, and worked on that. 


I remember having a bucket of black, watery paint, and a brush. I hadn’t worked this big on a vertical before. I started at the top, and simply applied stretches of wet, black ink, dunking my brush alternatively in ink and then water. I simply dragged my brush across the page. It felt like a quenching for a parched soul. My hands felt soothed, and my heart felt soothed. Instead of finding expression in colour, I found it in shoe and form, as the rivulets ran down the page. It was a fantastic expression of duty, pain, frustration, and self-soothing. The title is inspired by Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ 1973 piece, “Washing/Tracks/Maintenance: Outside” in which she scrubbed the stairs of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum. The maintenance became the art, and in that respect I felt that my piece was also a performance art.

“Washing/Tracks/Maintenance: Outside”








Maintenance details - 2014


Maintenance details - 2014


Maintenance details - 2014


Maintenance details - 2014

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