Image Reflections - 'The Performativity of Painting' / by Ally McGinn

I've included many photos of this piece to show the ways it has evolved over time.


The true beginning of this piece was the desire to find a shelf to house a collection of paint tubes.

These paint tubes were a gift from an artist who was going to throw them away. I have done nothing to them other than arrangements.

They can be seen as objectifications of time, of process. They embody the effort taken to get the paint out of the tubes, to make the most of the product. It's casing discarded.

Many of the tubes hold evidence of the artist, fingerprints and thumb indentations.

They are taken beyond their use, nominated for their sculptural forms and contextual references.

I originally planned to show them lined on shelves. That the shelves were similarly discarded became more important as time progressed.  

The shelves rely upon one another, they support each other, with the addition of some white tack, although this is not necessarily obvious at first.

A board is suspended below the highest shelf, blocking the view of anything behind it.

The inclusion of objects beyond the paint tubes (and their reduction in number) shows a shift in message, a more considered attempt to communicate an idea; the performance of painting.

Included in the final iteration are; a set of canvas threads, a paper plate palette, a plaster paintbrush, a line of used masking tape, a brush stand and a row of unused staples and some fluff from a jumper. (The last two are hidden within a small notch on the lower shelf and only visible with close inspection).

I feel this is a successful piece. However there is something inoperative within it.

I like the presentation of these objects with the inclusion of the shelf as artwork. To me this is an example of the interconnected nature of concepts and objects. I enjoy the piece and the questions it provokes. I feel it's relatively concise, although I'll readily admit I need to work on this more.

I removed everything but the support structures to explore the more formal aspects of the piece, ironically unconsidered by me as an artwork in their own right and suggested by a tutor.

I feel this has something interesting about it, for different reasons, and yet for me there is still something inoperative residing here.

The Performativity of Painting (2018) Paint tubes, paper plate, white tack, wooden cube, paintbrush rest, stretcher pieces and wooden shelf. Size can vary.JPG