Art Scrubber: 'Observing Women at Work'
GSA Exhibitions

Event Type:



Reid Gallery The Glasgow School of Art 167 Renfrew Street Glasgow G3 6RF


20 Apr 2017

Thu 13:00 - 14:00



Art Scrubber Cleaning Scotsman Steps
September 2016, Photo: Yi-Chieh Chiu

Art Scrubber: 'Observing Women at Work'

Event info

20 April 2017, 1pm, Reid Gallery

30 minute performance

Like many artists, the Art Scrubber (aka Silver Swimmer and Kate Clayton) has to do mundane jobs in order to finance her real work. But in this case, on seeing the Franki Raffles exhibition: Observing Women at Work, in the Reid gallery at GSA; she immediately identified with the working women portrayed in the black and white photographs. Reminded of the ongoing class struggle, her feminist sensibilities aroused, Art Scrubber intends to pay homage both to the British photographer who was born in 1955 and died in 1994, and the working women of Late-Twentieth Century Russia. As she carefully cleans the mounted images with the tools of her trade, she will acknowledge women’s work everywhere, both then and now. But if she feels the need to take a break from her labour, Art Scrubber will feel free to lie down and sleep in the gallery. 

Kate’s first outing as an Art Scrubber was a collaboration with Gerry O’Brien and involved the pair cleaning the Scotsman Steps, a public artwork by Martin Creed. That was the same month Kate made her first appearance as ‘Silver Swimmer’, swimming from Dundee to Aberdeen Beach where she was interviewed as part of the live art festival ‘Da Dee At’. This year Kate has also performed as Silver Swimmer in ‘Cabaret’, part of LGBT History Month.

From the beginning of 2016, Kate has been part of a collective of older women artists, Sexcentenary, whose most recent performance was at Buzzcut this April. In February Kate was awarded a place on the ’Lab for Older Artists in the Early Stages of a New Artistic Career’, a residency at Cove Park. 

Kate is 67 and her main interests are collaboration, feminism and ageing. 

For more information on Kate Clayton and the Art Scrubbers please click here