1. People in Order
2006 / video / 3 mins / shown on Channel 4 TV / collaboration with James Price
A series of four short films comprised of video portraits of hundreds of strangers met on the streets of the UK, arranged according to finite scales. People in Order - Age (below) depicts one person of every age from one to one hundred. The series People in Order was shown on Channel 4 TV (UK) after the evening news on four consecutive days.
People in Order - Age / video
2. One Brown Shoe
2013 / various materials / one hundred mismatched pairs of brown shoes
In 2013, one hundred married couples in twelve countries responded to an instruction to each make a single brown shoe using materials found around their homes. They were asked not to discuss the project with their partners and to make their shoe in secret. The shoes were revealed only once both were completed.
Made from cat food boxes, packing tape, knitting, childhood sneakers, stolen office supplies, plate steel, Cuban cigars, animal crackers, nut shells, and a thousand other odds and ends found in the house, each pair of shoes might be seen as a portrait – of two individuals, of one couple, and of the difference between the two.
above: One Brown Shoe (detail shot of eight pairs) below: Installation shot of One Brown Shoe at Emerging Artist of the Year at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 2013
2013 / custom box of 100 double-sided cards and folded insert / design Brett Yasko, photos Tom Little, distributed by Printed Matter NY A limited edition artists book; a catalog of One Brown Shoe and also a portable exhibition of the work that can be installed in the home. The shoes are depicted in this publication as they were created; one shoe on either side of a card, separate but in the same space. Cards must be held up to a mirror to reveal the pair together. (image three) One Brown Shoe Box (above) closed box (middle) all cards (bottom) mirror reveals pairs
3. Artist Residency in Motherhood
September 2012 - May 2014 / durational project / website, motherhood
Artist Residency in Motherhood (ARiM) was a structured, fully-funded* artist residency that took place inside my own home and life as a mother of two young children.
Artist Residencies are usually designed as a way to let artists escape from the routines and responsibilities of their everyday life. Artist Residency in Motherhood is different. Set firmly inside the traditionally “inhospitable” environment of a family home, it subverts the art-world’s romanticization of the unattached artist and frames motherhood as a valuable site rather than an invisible labor, for exploration and artistic production. The residency is experienced via a website, the portfolio of works from the residency has been exhibited internationally. I'm currently exploring possibilities to pass on the residency to other mothers.
In my capacity as the world's first Artist-in-Residence-in-Motherhood 2012 - 2014 I completed a portfolio of 32 works that used motherhood as a material. Examples of these projects follow below.
*Funding for ARiM was provided by the Investing in Professional Artists Grants Program, a partnership of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments and by The Sustainable Arts Foundation.
Artist Residency in Motherhood Business Cards for myself and two children / Letterpress / (3 3/4" x 2 1/2") (2" x 1 1/2") (1 3/4" x 1 1/4")
(image five) Artist Residency in Motherhood Sample Project / The Distance I Can be From My Son - Park / video / 1 min
Artist Residency in Motherhood Sample Project / 63 Objects Taken From My Son's Mouth / acorn, bolt, bubblegum, buttons, carbon paper, chalk, Christmas decoration, cigarette butt, coins (GBP, USD, EURO), cotton reel, holly leaf, little wooden man, sharp metal pieces, metro ticket, nuts, plastic “O”, polystyrene, rat poison (missing), seeds, slide, small rocks, specimen vial, sponge animal, sticks, teabag, wire caps, wooden block / size laid out as shown 40" x 40" x 1"
4. Open-Source Artist Residency in Motherhood
2016 - ongoing / website and self-directed artist-residency
I made a website www.artistresidencyinmotherhood.com that shares a free, downloadable Artist Residency for any Artist/Parent to undertake in their own home. Currently there are almost 300 registered artists-in-residence in 31 countries around the world. Click on the red markers below to view names, dates and websites of current residents.
5. Mysterious Letters
2009 - (ongoing) / collaboration with Michael Crowe
In 2009 writer Michael Crowe and I began writing and sending a unique letter to every household in the world. We choose a small area; a village, suburb, or district, move there for a while and write a letter to every home. Each letter is personally addressed and unique. All letters are sent on the same day so that everyone has an experience, at once personal and also shared with all their neighbors.
So far we have sent over 2700 letters to the inhabitants of a small fishing village in Northern Ireland; a suburb of Cologne in Germany; two streets in Paris; a district of St. Gallen in Switzerland; Tilburg in the Netherlands and Polish Hill in Pittsburgh.
A journalist interviewed the owner of a shop who received a letter from us. The owner reported that she immediately tore the letter up and threw it in the bin. Later when she read in a newspaper that it was an art project she took the pieces out the bin and taped them carefully back together. For us the art-work consists of this and the 2699 other unknown stories of what happened when the letters arrived.
Examples of letters below, there are thousands more here.
Mysterious Letters / 5 of the 467 letters sent to the residents of Rue Des Solitaires (Street of the Lonely Ones) in Paris
2009 / Mysterious Letters / BBC News Report / 3 min
6. Maternity Leave
2011 / baby monitor, custom plinth, microphone, laptop, internet, live audio feed, baby / Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
For the duration of the exhibition a microphone above our newborn baby's crib at home collected the sounds of our private domestic world (crying, screaming, singing, cooing, etc.) and transmitted them via live audio feed to the Carnegie Museum of Art. In the museum the sound was broadcast to visitors through a white plastic baby monitor placed in the middle of an echoing, otherwise empty gallery.
For the duration of the exhibition I was on "maternity leave" from my work as an artist. I negotiated with the museum that they publicly pay me $223 each week of the exhibition, an amount exactly equivalent to the government allowance for freelance artists I would be eligible for if I was living at home in England, rather than in the US where there is no paid federal maternity leave.
Maternity Leave / video documentation of installation / 1 min
7. Slow Magic Tricks
2012 / installation altered daily / table, chainette fringe trim, hand-painted arched sign, magic blanket, various other objects / FRAC Le Plateau, Paris
In a store-front window in Paris I staged a series of ten slow magic tricks. Each trick took three days to occur. On the first day the "ingredients" of the tricks were laid out. On the second these objects were covered with a magical red blanket. On the third day the trick was revealed. Tricks performed were naturally occurring everyday spectacles such as; cakes baking, an egg hatching, pencils being sharpened, plants growing and a newspaper being read.
Slow Magic Tricks; Cake-Baking. Images show from top to bottom; day one (ingredients of the trick), day two (magic blanket), day three - cakes!
8. Typewriter Drawings
2012 - ongoing / ink on typewriter paper / approx. 8.5" x 11" each
Drawings made entirely with a portable 1957 Smith-Corona Skyriter typewriter.
9. Two Itinerant Quilters
Currently in Development / collaboration with Joanna Wright / performance, repaired clothing, patchwork quilt
A hand-sewn patchwork quilt and accompanying interactive digital archive, created from fabric diamonds cut from the clothing of hundreds of passing strangers.
Over the course of a public event, or in a public space, diamond-shaped pieces for a patchwork quilt are collected from fabric voluntarily cut from the clothing of passers-by. The resulting holes are hand-repaired then and there with contrasting fabrics, creating a visible missing patch in each participants clothing. The collected diamonds are hand-sewn together using a traditional paper-piecing method into a traditional pattern known as the “Tumbling Block”. The quilt grows as the piece is re-performed in various environments around the globe.
Two Itinerant Quilters: Collecting Station Set-up, cut clothing with hand repaired patch, participant after donating fabric, lay up of patchwork quilt made from patches cut from participants clothing.