Sally Madge

Making a Mess and Clearing Up

Garage Gallery
25 Stratford Grove, Newcastle upon Tyne
September 2010

A seven hour performance in which I draw blindfolded on the walls of the gallery with handmade charcoal. I then remove the blindfold, wash down the walls, sweep the floor and repaint the space. Throughout the day viewers can watch the event through the windows or enter the space. They are offered disposable cameras to record the process.

Drawings, prints and paintings are made throughout the day by various methods and with a range of tools and materials on walls, windows, doors, the floor, body and clothing. Graffiti, childhood scribbling, surrealist automatism and Freud’s mystic writing pad are all made reference to in these acts.

By the end of the day no apparent trace of my presence is left, the space seems restored to its original state with all the stages of mark making sealed into the fabric of the building and preserved behind a screen of white. This minimal outcome privileges the expressive process by refusing a final fetishised art object.

An edited video of the performance has been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize.