Good morning, if you’re just getting up in the UK, look out because apparently the torrential rain and gales we had here yesterday are heading your way. I hope you enjoyed the Turner Prize interlude over the weekend,  it seems to go down well, but I did promise that today I would revisit a piece from my past portfolio and chronologically that means its Yellow, (conversation piece). The image at the top shows the outside or “back” of the painting with two people inside viewing it which for me is an appropriate way to start a conversation with this piece. As with Red, which I showed on Day 30, Yellow is a piece which is very much about the observers relationship to the painting. Following on from Red which was created so as only on person could experience it at any one time, Yellow opened the field slightly more to allow and indeed even encourage two people to experience it at the same time. There is also an amount of theatricality about this piece, and indeed all the previous pieces in this series, so the fact that you first encountered the back of them, the painted surface remaining hidden until the line was crossed to enter the piece, was a very important aspect of the experience.

If you went into it by yourself the image above was basically what you would see, not that this viewing is wrong per se, but to some extent when viewed in this way the other end of the painting acts as a “hole”. For me it has less of the dynamic which it was created to have when it is viewed alone. I found that other people found this to be true as well; when viewed with a second person “framed” in the other end; as in the image below at the exhibition preview, the two people engaged with the piece a lot more and with each other. Even if they were complete strangers they would immediately start a conversation about the piece which would keep them inside it considering it for very long periods of time, probably much longer than people would normally take to consider a painting. This is of course where the piece also gets its subtitle, conversation piece, from.

The funny thing about all of these conversations was that people tended to forget that the piece was still actually a painting and therefore made out of canvas, so that everything they were saying could be heard by the people outside.