‘I Yam what I Yam’ is one of the first system sculpture/paintings produced. In 1989 this work was inaugurated at an ATA Gallery exhibition where viewers were given stones to throw at eggs mounted between potatoes and yams. At the opening people threw the stones releasing paint into the field of yams and potatoes and the paint slowly dripped and dribbled. Later slugs and insects occupied the work as they consumed the yams and potatoes, which also bloomed.
Behind this living painting / sculpture was green fluorescent paper which gave the work a glow from the ambient light coming from gallery spotlights.
I was able to witness in this early work how important it was to allow individuals to interact with a work of art and have some determination in how the work moved forward.
I was fascinated how cathartic this experience was for so many viewer/interactants and how people ran up and took bites out of the potatoes and yams. This early work allowed me to break from traditions of static sculpture and painting and think of the work as a proto living system of interaction and social catharsis about what was acceptable or not in an art context.
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