Here is Kate at Dundee station waiting for the train that will whisk her off to London, as excited as any six-year-old going to the big city for the first time. She’s responding to an invite that was put out through the Tate by artist Suzanne Lacy, asking for 1000 women, age 60 or over, who have some history of activism, to come together for an event.

It’s Thursday, January 31, 2013, when Kate gets on the train, whereas its Tuesday, March 12, 2013, when I sit down to write this. Why the time lapse? Because attending Silver Action started a chain of events in Kate’s life and we thought it was worthwhile waiting until certain things had played out. Has Silver Action finished then? If it had, it wouldn’t be worth recording. The ramifications continue into the future. Everybody’s future? Well, we’ll see.

First things first, Kate needed somewhere to stay. Emma, a friend from Kate’s time in Essex, had put her in touch with a cousin of hers who lives in the middle of London, handy for Tate Modern and so much more.


On the Friday, Kate posted the above photo on Facebook and wrote: ‘Radio 4 in Islington where I have a lovely room courtesy of Sara and Jane who are keen to support feminist endeavours. In this case by providing accommodation to a complete stranger (albeit highly recommended!). Suzanne Lacy workshop this afternoon...’


If I remember rightly, there were workshops at Tate Modern morning and afternoon, from Wednesday to Friday, with about 50 women attending each. From the many photos Kate took I can see that, in a large room overlooking the Thames, there were groups of women sat around tables covered with brightly-coloured paper. Kate was at the purple table, but there were also blue, green, yellow and orange tables, at least. On each table was a set of images intended to promote discussion, as shown above and below.


I’ve included the above photo because Lyn is shown in the middle of it. She would be sitting at Kate’s table during the actual Silver Action event on Sunday. And so would Madge, who’s pictured below, on the left. Kate has told me that she got on particularly well with Madge, finding the American wise, vocal and funny.


As well as the photos prompting conversation, there was a series of five questions. From the photos Kate took I can work out what most of the questions were (though not number 1):

2. What are you willing to take action on?
3. How has age and experience shaped your ideas?
4. Why are you here today?


As you can see, as well as to discuss the issues amongst themselves, the women were encouraged to write their responses to the questions on the large sheets of coloured paper that cover the table. I think it’s Kate who has written: ‘As an artist this piece of work does constitute art. My question is how do women here feel about their experiences...’ The fact that the end of her statement is missing adds ambiguity.

The women were also encouraged to write about a lightbulb moment that happened to them. They were asked to write their contributions on coloured cards and add these to a timeline that had been boldly written across one wall of the room. Kate has photographed lots of these. I’ve searched through the images until coming across her own contribution. That’s it written on the purple card on the right, headed 1974:


Let me transcribe: ‘When I accidentally became pregnant, knowing it was my decision and only mine as to whether to continue with the pregnancy or not.’

Other contributions to this part of the timeline read:

‘Falling in love with a woman for the first time and leaving my male partner to be with her.’

‘Having just been dumped by husband and father of 4 girls who told me my personality was too strong and I would find it difficult to find another partner. I realised the unfairness of male/female relationships. Told my daughters ‘never learn how to peel a potato!’

‘I was 27 years old when I attempted to take control and make decisions about my own life. My second baby, a son, died. I was in a controlling and mentally abusive relationship. At 27 I finally became an adult and the realisation since has been: its our life’s experiences that form the adult person.’

It’s noticeable that the gaining of independence for these women often came through some kind of experience as a mother.


The woman on the left is Prudence, who, along with Madge and Lyn ended up around Kate’s table on the Sunday. Perhaps Kate took the above photo to give more of a general impression of the room towards the end of the workshop. Suzanne Lacy herself was only in attendance for a very short time. The woman in the green cardigan was one of two facilitators for the session. Her hand is resting on the part of the table shown in the image below:


That’s one strong voice. Let’s find another. It’s clear by now that this won’t be difficult. So let’s just take the adjoining entry:


That was Friday afternoon. What did Kate do between then and Sunday afternoon? She met Lucy Harrison, an artist who she got to know while acting as education officer for the Art U Need project that took place in Essex a few years ago. Then on Saturday she met up with friend Emma and they went to some exhibitions and ended up at a party. Wanting to be fresh for Sunday, Kate did not intend to stay up too late on Saturday night. And what happened? She stayed up late on Saturday night: dancing, chatting and flirting. But come Sunday afternoon she was where she needed to be: in the vicinity of the Tanks at Tate Modern. As at the start of this adventure, her excitement shines through. The child in Kate lives on!


The event was scheduled from 1pm until 5pm. Kate’s slot wasn’t until later in the afternoon but she rightly realised that to get there early would be a good idea as Silver Action would be a different experience for the general gallery visitor than for the actual participant. The picture below is of people about to go in to the Tanks and observe Silver Action.


Kate took this photo of Suzanne Lacy, the figure on the left. I expect she kept to the background on the day, knowing that she had a team and structures and systems in place that could be relied on.


This is what Kate found when she walked into the space itself. Lots of small tables, each of which filled up with four women. It was not possible to walk between the tables, Kate discovered, so it wasn’t possible to overhear the conversations. However, also seated at the corners of tables were younger women with laptops, not taking part in the conversations but listening-in and tweeting out, moving from table to table. You can see one of them in the bottom right corner of the photo below:


That Sunday afternoon I was keeping abreast of the #silveraction twitter stream from my study in Blairgowrie, where I’m writing this a month or so later. Keeping up with the flow of tweets was not an easy thing to do, as they came thick and fast all afternoon. In the sample below, the top tweet is obviously by someone tableside. Well, most of them are. Though some are by non-participants at the Tate, savouring the ambience, and there was nothing to stop anyone joining in the #silveraction stream if they wanted to. Actually, the participants themselves were not allowed mobiles - or indeed anything other than their clothes - with them while at the tables. Kate could have tweeted at this stage,
before becoming a participant herself, but decided that she was not yet familiar enough with her first smart phone. Anyway here’s a sample of consecutive tweets:

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One of our friends from Perthshire, Miriam Drysdale, was also at the Tate as a participant, and she took the opportunity to tweet during the day. Indeed, I recall that one of her tweets was an exclamation that she’d tweeted 14 times in one afternoon, a personal record. Actually, why don’t I just call up her stream of tweets now, later I’ll ask Miriam for permission to use them here... Hmm, can’t find any by Miriam now, though I have found this suitably silvery image of Suzanne Lacy that she took on the day.


Perhaps the stream of Miriam’s tweets has been retrospectively edited in some way. Anyway, here’s a sequence of tweets posted by Whisperthewisdom that afternoon:

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Below is a lovely picture from Silver Action.


What is the woman in the foreground saying that the woman facing us is smiling so warmly at?:

“These young people of today, they can run around making phone calls til the cows come home but can they run a bath?”

There were also women walking between the tables, inviting participants to come over to another part of the space and dictate their stories, stories which was then projected in real time onto the concrete wall. Each woman’s story was keyed in by one of several young men. The male secretary: Suzanne Lacy’s role-reversal joke? Indeed, a joke that it could be said I’m playing along with as I type out what is essentially Kate’s experience of Silver Action.


In the photo above, the storyteller’s seat is empty. But the words emblazoned on the wall tell a story of oppression in academia. I don’t mind retyping what the young man has typed. I might learn some humility from it:

‘I thought it was just in Physics, but I found that the women in all areas of academia never got it when they came up for tenure, but the men did with less publications. That’s enough to make anybody really work, and I’ve been working ever since at that.’

Kate wasn’t able to take photographs of her own participation. She phoned me the next day when she was on the train coming back from London. She said that she was exhausted, happy and sad. She’d had a wonderful hour at the table and felt nothing but positive thoughts about the three women she’d shared the table with. The sadness was that thing about time running out for herself and her generation. Yes, Kate feels she’s had a fulfilling life. No, she does not think she’s had enough time. Enough time! There’s the rub. How do any of us get enough time?

As Kate was travelling back she forwarded me an email from Madge whose subject was ‘The yellow tablecloth of true thinking’. It reads:

Dear Prue, Kate and Lyn
Just got back from London. It was a great moment and let's build on it when we can.
Warm regards

And then this:

Dear Madge, Lyn, Kate
I just wanted to say what a great time I thought we had, and I am so pleased to have spent that strange and amazing and very nourishing time with you at Our Yellow Table - so far away from The Yellow Wallpaper I suddenly remember.
I hope to see you again soon, hear about your reactions, and keep in touch.
best wishes Prunella.

And a few days later, this:

Dear Pru, Madge and Kate
How lovely to hear from you all. I am sorry I have been tardy in replying to your emails. I have been backwards and forwards to London. I like strange beds but beds in bits and pieces are different! I went back almost immediately to do a bit of child minding: most unusual for me. One of my daughters had a mock then actual viva. She passed and we have a doctor in the family. She is now one of the leading experts on the materials and techniques used by Holbein. I am delighted. She has two small children and works full-time so hats off to her.
Enough of that: I'm glad to know you all got back safely. It was a marvellous occasion. I still get shivers and goosebumps thinking of the poignancy of some of the conversations we had around the yellow table. I think we all disliked or felt uncomfortable with yellow so it is fairly amazing what we managed to unleash in an hour.
I will try to go on the march/get together on 9/10 March but I am not sure at this moment. As you know I have just moved and I must try to embed myself in the arty world down here. I haven't felt the need desperately just yet but I must get moving.
So, may be we shall meet in March: if not I'm sure we will sometime in the future.
Take care of yourselves and it was mighty good to get to know you all a bit

Quite a high-powered lot. Madge a professor of History at the University of the West of England, Pru a lecturer at the Royal College of Art and Lyn, painter-printmaker and proud mother of a leading expert on the materials and techniques used by Holbein! And Kate too, of course, in the midst of her MFA, who got back to Dundee on Monday evening, having missed the first day of a three-day performance masterclass that she’d signed up for.

Thrown into the deep-end on Tuesday morning when asked to film a performance with a small group of others on the course, Kate draped over herself a cloth she’d had printed a week before in connection with her ongoing Gaga project (not the yellow tablecloth of true thinking, but something closely related) and asked a colleague to film her as she talked to camera.
Where did this take place? In the foyer of the art college. Close to the lifts, the noise of which punctuate the audio. This first still seems to catch Kate collecting her thoughts.

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The video gets going with Kate saying that she’s just back from Tate Modern in London where Suzanne Lacy was producing new work which carried on in some ways from
The Crystal Quilt, a work Lacy had done using elderly people in the late 80s in the United States. A work that was bought by the Tate and shown in the Tanks last year, and which Kate found deeply moving.

“Silver Action was well orchestrated,” Kate tells us. She briefly describes the workshop. “There was an underlying conflict that didn’t come out,” she says. “It was clear we were being primed for the Sunday event. However, the conversations in themselves were very interesting. People felt that they weren’t listened to any more. That there were things in society that they were willing to take action about, but obviously they got tireder. Also they were concerned about their own futures. What it meant to be older. The whole care system. I say ‘they’ but I mean ‘we’.”

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Not sure if it’s deliberate or not, but the light falling on Kate’s hair is eminently Silver Action-esque. Kate pauses and brings the viewer back to her own interests. She tells us that the piece of material that she is wearing has been printed with a letter. The last communication - a notelet - that she ever got from her grandmother, nearly 40 years ago now.

Kate puts on her glasses in order to read the letter. Then changes her mind and asks Claire if she could read it. Claire Briegel is a fellow MFA artist who was also doing the performance workshop that morning.

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“June 11th,” says Claire, and then pauses. The writing is not at all easy to read. She goes on: “My dear little...”
“Mum,” Kate has to say.
“Hope you’re OK and feeling as well as...I am?”
“As can be,” corrects Kate.
“As can be.”
“Have his or her... gets?”
“Have his or her got a name yet?”

Kate tells the camera that she was heavily pregnant at the time when she got this letter from her grandmother, who was in a home and had undiagnosed dementia, probably Alzheimer’s.

Claire resumes: “What about...Ber?”
“Bertram or Alfie. What about Daniel or...”

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Isn’t that beautiful? The tender care with which Claire is tending Kate’s ‘bump’ in 2013 echoing the goodwill that Gaga summoned all those years ago when Kate was pregnant with the baby who ended up being a girl, Ellie, despite Gaga’s conviction that it was a boy’s name that would be required.

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Kate tells us that in the note, Gaga is crossing out all the time, and the writing is indistinct. Claire admits she can’t make out what the next bit says. Kate turns to peer at the cloth: “I think it says. What about Fre - crossed out - and then Frik - crossed out - and then, finally, Fred.”
“Yes,” agrees Claire.
Kate completes the reading: “Lots of love from Gaga. One two, three, four...seven kisses.”

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Kate carries on, speaking again to camera. “And then she’s written NAMES on this side but she hasn’t been able to do that, it’s been left blank. I just think it’s very poignant...”

I’ll say it’s poignant. I’ve a feeling Claire thinks it’s poignant too, as she stares into the middle distance, pondering. How could anyone witnessing Kate draped in her grandmother’s good wishes for Kate’s child-to-be think it was anything but poignant?

Kate continues: “Poignant for me personally, but also in a broader context as well, thinking about how we age. How we age differently now than her generation did. I mean, I’m very fortunate to be here doing an MA. I’m still developing. I’ve got lots of ideas and possibilities. But at the same time - I’m ageing. I feel tireder. I’ve got less energy. Though I get a lot of energy from being here.”

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Kate seems composed, though I find it impossible not be moved by this material. I distract myself by wondering whether Kate, as she finishes her turn, looks more like a Mother Superior or Germaine Greer. Maternal and wise, shall we say? Not wise and maternal beyond her years, but in tune with them.

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If that was Kate’s take on Silver Action, two days after the event, what follows is Suzanne Lacy’s overview which was posted on Tate’s
website on February 16. The stills are taken from a four-minute video, starting with one of the artist. Another Germaine Greer? Well, yes in the sense that she talks intelligently to camera. Suzanne emphasises that the project is not about ageing but about discrimination and inequality. And I think Kate knows that her own response to Silver Action, invoking Gaga, is not a direct response to the politics of the original work.

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Suzanne (if I may call her that) draws attention to another aspect of the project, which was the ‘kitchen table’. At this table, separate from the yellow tables but in the same room as them, a group of women who had been leaders of activist movements held a discussion as to what was needed for women now and going forward.

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The next image literally is an overview of Silver Action. It shows the yellow tables in the Tanks at Tate Modern, the projections showing the life stories of individuals as they’re being told to the male secretaries, and (top centre, to the right of the projections) the kitchen table.

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The artist emphasises that ‘the image’ of Silver Action evolved over six months, thanks to the input of the participants. Her own role was to facilitate the project. But it’s really not “my work” she says, making sure I - or anybody else - puts quotation marks around “my work”.

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Clearly, Kate was not finished with working through her own response to Silver Action. At roughly the same time as Tate was posting the above Suzanne Lacy video to its blog page, Kate assembled a group of four younger women for a conversation, leaving herself out of it. She set up her ‘kitchen table’, having liaised with Eilidh at the Roseangle Cafe. But first she sought some advice from the yellow tablecloth of true thinking:

Dear Prue,Madge and Lyn

How are we all this sunny frosty morning? I have a favour to ask...as part of my work I am going to recreate our yellow tablecloth setting with 4 young women and want to provide them with the bare bones of the themes of our conversation and film their conversation. So to avoid it being merely my recollections could you possibly each send me yours.
Thanks and very best wishes
Kate x

Madge was straight on the case:

Hi Kate and Lyn and Prue,

Nice idea Kate - forgive rushed response in between student tutorials. Ah what were the themes which emerged in our magic bubble --one was sexuality--the need for honesty about: a. our own individual differences/needs b) the way age does have an impact on it c) how there's no one model and d) how we all felt the 'sexual liberation' of the 60's wasn't all that liberating for women in terms of putting pressure on us to be sexually available even when implicit power relationships (esp between men and women but possibly also applicable in same sex relations) hadn't been as we might have liked--something the younger women might find useful.
The second was children and family and the tension between our own needs as intellectual and creative and political individuals and the needs of those with whom we have intimate relationships--and again how we variously have had to negotiate that and that life is such a trade off and that maybe one can't have it all....
A third was fellowship and friendship (I demur against 'sisterhood' as too romantic) and its importance in sustaining us through life
A fourth was how our generation have had to negotiate our own ways of life at a time when role models were not really available to us-esp in terms of women with education--our relations with our mothers and fathers seemed to be quite important..
Love the honesty and humour we shared at the table-

Hope that is helpful and not at complete variance with everyone's recollections. Am sure I missed much out.
Student at door so adieu for now.

No word from Lyn, but Pru wrote back within a few days:

Hi All - thank you Madge for your good memory!
I couldn't remember what we had talked about so am very grateful for having the pondering refocussed in the different areas above. One of the reasons I have found it all so enjoyable, valuable, was that the tone we all had was of Enquiry, rather than trading in Knowing It, wanting to focus on Exploring, rather than just Settling (although getting used to acknowledging a bit less energy can mean a real enjoyment of Slow Things), and that felt generally counter-cultural to the everyday assumptions of how to behave, interact, act.
On the Slow front there's increasing pressure 'out there' for speed and performance and identity/appearance, which is why we no longer count, but we also know that Slow is Better fundamentally, so we have a lot to be radical with, and I am cheered by that. We have to find ways to wriggle out from under the norms/Norms of this world, and in my case that includes a few that are inside me. Meanwhile I am dealing with the huge 'norm' of being 70 this year, which really does feel like a milestone that cannot be ignored, and it's something that I as a full-on member of the 60's generation didn't think would happen to me......
x Prunella

Two quite bold analyses to help the new kids on the block. But, following the example of Suzanne Lacy, Kate also provided a card with four questions to ground - and politicise - the conversation.

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Claire Briegel was again involved. That’s her holding up the card. I like the way that the pink of Morgan Cahn’s top echoes the pink of a participant at one of the tables in Tate Modern, and that the yellow tablecloth of the nearest table at the Tate is echoed both in the tablecloth that Kate has provided and - via the projector - the coloured light that falls from time to time on the side of Claire’s face.

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The first question on the card reads: ‘What is different for you now, with age? What can older women contribute? What are the challenges we face?’

The group, whose ages range from early twenties to early thirties, must place themselves relative to a set of questions that were created for older people. But it’s not hard, everything is relative after all. A 30-year-old thinks differently to when he/she was in her teens.

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Beyond the pink of Morgan is the black of Beth Savage. Kate met Beth and Morgan in summer of 2012 when she attended some events put on by D-Air (Dundee Artists in Residence). I suspect Beth knows what Pru meant when she wrote that Slow is better. Life is not about making a fast buck, at least it shouldn’t be.

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The fourth women is Tara Chaloner. Tara, like Beth has a BA in art from Dundee and is sticking around the city, working as a waitress and an artist. She and Claire are coming to help open the BCCA (Blairgowrie Centre for Contemporary Art) next weekend, a white cube cum shed at the bottom of our garden, so by the end of the weekend I’m bound to know those two better.

Question 2 reads:
Describe something that you witnessed, experienced or read, that might have propelled you to action or activism?’

How do the four respond to this? I’m not sure, exactly. Nor could I summarise what is said in response to questions three and four which, for the record, are:

3. What is different for younger women (and men) today? How have values and perceptions changed since you were younger?
4. What needs questioning today? What needs to be done? What are you willing to take action on now and how?

There is talk of a printed transcription being prepared by Tara and/or Claire. Kate has shown me a silent version of the piece, speeded up by a factor of eight. This turns the hour-long conversation into a seven-minute shake ’n’ shuffle, which puts the emphasis on each of the women holding forth, to begin with, before the conversation settles down to a more collective flow. When the women eventually laugh, they laugh together.

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How does it end? It ends with the group responding to Kate’s warbling whistle, a whistle that echoes the tweeting of birds that ended each hour-long slot of Silver Action. It ends with the four putting their hands together. Symbol of togetherness, trust, potential activism? That’s how I read the final
tableau. The yellow tablecloth of true thinking, feeling and doing.

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Is that it? Not quite.

When Generator put on their members’ show, the committee put out a call to the membership for suggested events/non-events to take place while the exhibition was up and running. Kate proposed a Silver Salon, hoping to facilitate a discussion of the Suzanne Lacy project.

Here is Kate as host of Silver Salon. She looks different from how she did in the video with the cloth. Then she was just back from an immersive experience and spoke from the heart. Today she wants to introduce some ideas, having had a chance to let Silver Action filter through her mind. One woman plays many roles in a month (or a week or a day), never mind a lifetime.


In the picture below, Yvonne Billimore of Generator is at one end of the table, co-hosting the event. Sitting beside Kate is Deirdre Robertson. She has turned up in order to be generally supportive of Kate, her MFA colleague, though she is busy trying to organise the opening up of a pre-existing tunnel into Law Hill, one of Dundee’s most prominent landmarks. That is an ambitious and exciting project which I’ll be looking out for. Next to Deirdre is Samantha Jack, also from the MFA. Sam is an activist, and her art focuses on the activism of today, so it’s surely appropriate that she’s here.

Although Gaga is not in the room as such, I’m conscious that Kate’s grandmother is in the gallery that lies on the other side of the wall behind the row of women in shot. What do I mean? I mean the glossy piece of advertising merchandise promoting Lady Gaga perfume is in there on its plinth. The glamorous free-standing card that Kate subverted, first, by sticking a photograph of her grinning, bespectacled grandmother over the photo of elegant Lady Gaga, and second, by replacing the bottle of fashionable perfume with a timeless tea light. It’s been a couple of weeks since the opening of the members’ show, but in that time Gaga has not left the building!


Some of the photos of Silver Salon were taken by Kirsten, who is in the second year of the BA in Fine Art at Dundee. She’s come along expecting to invigilate, and she seems excited to having happened across Silver Salon. As you can see from the photo below, Claire Briegel has turned up too. I am sitting beside Claire, out of this shot, and then there is Morgan Cahn, who is wearing a badger head-dress.


Also present is our friend Jenifer Lamb, a tutor in English Literature for the Open University. As you see from the picture below, Jenifer and Kate put the silver in Silver Salon. Come to think of it, Yvonne puts the silver in Silver Salon too, thanks to the monitor that she is sitting in front of. Actually, the equipment was supposed to enable Kate to show her Gaga cloth video as a projection, but there has been a hitch. However, there isn’t a problem a far as Kate is concerned, as there are any number of ways she can put across Silver Action to those of us who have turned up today. Seven women and me.


On large sheets of yellow paper are written three questions that Kate has come up with. She has also provided photos of the Tate event and a book about Suzanne Lacy’s work, and pens with which to write on the large sheets of paper, and a marinated broccoli dish. While the rest of us have also brought in snacks to share while we’re talking and writing. My contribution is a tub that I stuffed full of olives at a Tesco salad bar. I really could not have crammed any more olives or sun-dried tomatoes into that plastic container and I am looking forward to making inroads into them. However, I’ve no sooner popped a garlic-filled olive into my mouth than Morgan has taken one herself and passed the tub on to Sam.

In search of consolation, I consider the questions which top the sheets of paper. One reads: ‘
Can art about the over 60s be of interest to younger artists/audiences?’ I’m pleased to hear that the answer to that is a resounding yes. For do the young not know and care about people who are older? And will the young not be older themselves one day?

The question on the sheet in front of me reads
‘When does large-scale participatory art work become exploitative of those taking part?’ Before I know it, I’ve written ‘When artist doesn’t see things from participants point of view. That is, SELFISH Anthony Gormley.


When I calmly consider what I’ve written, it embarrasses me. For I see how it might look from a female perspective. ‘Invite a man along and what happens? He invites another man along and they start a fight.’

Deirdre has had to go off to an appointment, but, as you can see from the image below, Tara Chaloner has turned up and Sam has moved up into Deirdre’s place so that Tara can sit down.


She’s brought along a multi-pack of Snickers, but it’s the pastries that I want to get stuck into now that I’ve had a few choice picks from the olive tub. Unfortunately, Claire is shielding the plate. Does she want them all for herself? Of course not, she’s probably oblivious to their presence as she responded to Kate’s third question ‘
Can one artist’s work provide impetus for another artist?’ LIke others around the table, she thinks that appropriation is appropriate in certain circumstances and inappropriate in others. That’s what is kicked around verbally, and this is what Claire writes: ‘Absolutely we should be more honest about the way in which art works.’


Instead of simply asking Claire to pass me the plate of pastries, I distract myself by coming up with a fictional scenario whereby Kate is wrapped in a cloth and Claire is having to peer at the writing on the cloth in order to make sense of it. Their exchange goes something like this, with Kate helping Claire out when the text verges on the illegible:

Claire: “Have his or her got a name yet? How about Adolf or...”
“Aloysius,” says Kate.
“How about Al-o-y-sius or Anthony Gorm...?”


Actually, without being asked, Claire hands me the plate and my revenge fantasy - or whatever it was - dissolves.

Towards the end of the session, I sneak a look at one of the many things that Morgan has written. She’s been talking her share during the meeting, as well as taking part in a secondary conversation
sub voce with Claire, as well as writing in her notebook, as well as feeding the badger within, as well as writing on the large yellow sheets. If you can’t quite make out Morgan’s words on the at the bottom of the sheet headed ‘When does large-scale participatory art work become exploitative of those taking part?, don’t worry, because below the photograph I’ve transcribed them.


‘Can a man bring a group of women together for the purposes of an art project addressing women’s issues? Yes in theory, but this raises conflicting arguments re intention, honesty, appropriation/inappropriation, integrity... How would the reverse be perceived (ie woman bringing men together.)’

I don’t know if Morgan’s decided yet what she’s going to do for her degree show. But I have an image of a group of men, brought together in the shed she has been allocated, putting their shoulders to a giant wheel, that, as it turns, bores a new hole into Law Hill. Or have I got wrong that little drawing at the top of her writing? Indeed, that may well be Tara’s handiwork.

Kirsten goes on taking photographs to the end. This next one has everybody in it except herself. Well, no, Beth, from Kate’s ‘yellow tablecloth of true thinking’ is not able to be here today. And Madge, Lyn and Prudence, from the original yellow tablecloth of true thinking, are hundreds of miles away. But Kate’s idea is that this blog will be made available to them, so that the yellow tablecloth of true thinking floats along somewhere in the back of quite a few people’s minds.


Well done, Suzanne Lacy. Well done, all the women involved in Silver Sisters. We hope that comes across.

What next, Silver-wise?

If anyone would rather not be appearing in a photo on this site, please let us know and we’ll adjust. If anyone wants a more formal credit for a still or photograph, again we’ll be happy to oblige.