Margaret Roberts Two Works One Wall 2015 Factory 49. Opening Wed 22 July 2015. Open Thurs - Sat 12-6pm till 1 Aug.

materials: triwall cardboard, tulle, pencil graphite, unbound titanium dioxide, catalogues of 2009 and 2010 exhibitions by Rose Ann McGreevy in Factory 49 showroom.

above photo: Sue Blackburn


The Factory 49 walls are rich in the memory of Rose Ann McGreevy because of the number of works she made on them. I have been prompted into thinking about this while writing about her wall drawing, Blueprint, for her posthumous project at Articulate later this year. She made Blueprint on the long wall in the Factory 49 showroom in 2010, following Wall Line on the same wall the year before. Both were painted directly on the wall in her own casually careful way, and thus must still be there, just below the surface, buried under thin layers of paint. In thinking about how to respond to these physical traces Rose left behind, I thought about revealing them by sandpapering the wall. But I would risk destroying them as well as randomly revealing layers of other paint artists put there since. I also still think about repainting Rose's drawings as she made them, but I don't quite have Rose's touch with the brush--though Sturtevant, the great re-maker of other artists' works, wouldn't have had such qualms. She would have just set about learning how Rose did it.

above: Rose Ann McGreevy Wall Line 2009

Thinking about how Sturtevant may approach it makes me realise that Sturtevant put herself out there beside the artist whose work she remakes. My reaction is to be more tentative, partly because I don't know how Rose would react to (failed) attempts to remake her works as if they were hers. I am also hesitant because remaking her wallworks over top of hers is different from making them again somewhere else, as Sturtevant did when she re-silkscreened Warhol's flowers, and remade so many other works. I expect that if I remake Rose's work as close as possible to how Rose made it, the main issue would be the differences between my lines and Rose's lines, the very issue that Sturtevant foregrounds with her emphasis on remaking artworks identically (and 'failing' slightly).

above: Rose Ann McGreevy Blueprint 2010

I would prefer to remake these works to demonstrate what Rose said was her underlying purpose in the work--to emphasise the importance of the wall, by which I understand her to mean what she called 'the sensory world' of which the wall is one small part. The sensory world is also my own interest (but I call it 'actual space'). If Blueprint and Wall Line are sitting there ready to be remade, for example, the question would be: which one gets the wall? This question directs attention to the wall, emphasising the standing of the wall and its role in each work over the difference between Rose's and my ways of making them.

In writing about Blueprint, I came to think that I may have discovered how Rose designed and made Blueprint so that it foregrounded the wall--the confusing nature of the diagram may have sufficiently distracted viewers, coaxing them in close to the wall so that it surprised them by suddenly appearing in their face. (That is consistent with my experience of Blueprint, and I am curious to know how others experienced it.) If I remake Blueprint, my challenge would be to find another way to achieve my understanding of Rose's aim--the foregrounding of the wall--thus maybe the idea of two works arguing over one wall is worth trying out.