Up the winding stairs of PAC and round the corner I got to a room containing a tent, a cosy place to admire some satin stitch embroideries in the virginal colours of the suffragettes (purple, white and green) and relax against some child-sized appliqué cushions sewn with fortifying slogans (fabric by William Morris). For this was a fortress – a frail one for Gene’s sharp eye, I fear – a place of protection for the artist using the proven magic charms of the campaign for women’s right to vote and the sturdily resistant creed of and the Arts and Crafts movement, that hording does not bring happiness. The artist sat beside it was looking serene, but someone mentioned Tracey Emin, that frightful strumpet boasting in threads of her legion lovers back in ‘95 – unfairly, I thought, as there were definitely no condoms on the carpet here. I like to think Emin would be welcome to take shelter in it nevertheless, even if she started scrawling all over everything and making the cushions rather smelly.
Opposite the tent was a whitened ensemble of furniture, including a table with a white covered A4 pamphlet I expected to have white pages inside, but actually appeared to be an account of childhood and growing up in short texts and colour photos with no faces, quite interesting ones that I’d have looked at longer. My own memories flickered over the blank mirror, that painter I paid too much to do the back bedroom of my home in Winchester (I’m just in Plymouth to get to know Gene again, he crossed the pond too soon and has turned out very abrasively American), but the quality here compared well, and I’m sure the paint was honest art school white, not Farrow and Ball. A nice installation.