On May 21, 2014, Kate sent out an invite to 30-odd people asking them to come along to her studio in order to help paint a picture. The invite was accompanied by this image:

Image copy

On June 2 she followed it up with:

Dear Friends,

Alan and Holly have stretched a canvas of 1.7 by 2.5 metres.

T-shirts have been printed with: 'THIS IS JUST WHAT IT'S LIKE'. These are words my grandmother wrote on a postcard she sent me from holiday in Switzerland, circa 1960. You will be given one of those T-shirts on arrival, which you can do what you like with.

Who am I talking about? You can see who you are from the above Cc list. Come along and meet/discuss/snack and undermine/celebrate/paint.

I hope that a few of you will be ready to go next week. I mean at The Studio on the Bridge, Matthew Building (message 07710687616). That's Tuesday to Friday, June 10-13, 11am until 3pm. Pop in anytime.

I started to paint this image once before, not long after I'd begun the MFA, as you can see from
here. But that time I was on my own (apart from Anna, Duncan and Johnny Cash).

If no-one turns up by Friday morning I guess I'll revert to the B-team which consists of Frida Kahlo, Joseph Beuys, Maya Angelou, Sarah Lancashire, Bill Drummond, Laure Prouvost, Suzanne Lacy, Rolf Harris (NOT) and Gaga.

Dunc has suggested that one way to start would be to grid up the postcard and canvas. Then individuals could choose cells to fill in as they saw fit. Well, yes, that would be one way to do it but I don't want to jump the gun. Those who are there at 11am on Tuesday can set the ball rolling in whatever direction they choose. And those who turn up later can help it along, or punt it off in another direction.

I'll be filming what, if anything, happens. I'll be recording what, if anything, is said.

Hope to see you,

Kate x

On June 6, Kate asked me to help her move stuff from her old studio to the huge one that she's got in the run up to the MFA Degree show. And so I got to see the set-up.


Those are A3 prints on either side of the blank canvas. In other words, the canvas is big, the room enormous.

For a few weeks, on and off, Kate has been talking about what she is going to do here. What
we are going to do here. What are we going to do here?...


Oh yes: we are going to live such painterly lives.


Kate and I met on a coach that had 'WE ARE NOT AFRAID OF THE FUTURE' emblazoned across it. That coach travelled to Zlin in the Czech Republic, an art project organised by Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie. Has that ambitious event of 2004 got anything to do with why Kate is writing: 'WE ARE GOING TO LIVE SUCH LIVES' over the walls of her new studio?

No time to answer that now. Having finished her wall text, Kate has asked me and Claire Briegel - who Kate worked with on 'INTER' last summer, and who remains a close friend - to join her on a mound made out of material that has been jettisoned following the BA degree show, which closed a few days ago. The material constituted a womb then, whereas it now seems like a nest.


Not sure if Claire's legs are in the right position. Shouldn't her knees be facing out towards the camera? And Kate's back is too straight - she towers above me. Not that it matters, of course. What matters is that we have a blank canvas behind us. Let the
paintathon begin.