The Big Coverup: white with blue stripe

Year: 2003
Ontology: standalone

Medium: Watercolour and lead pencil on paper; vinyl; primed canvas

HxWxD cm: 205 x 321 x 10
Holdings: Available to collect

Five paintings atop of the stairs of whispers are suspected of containing encoded, top-secret information. Suspiciously, the owners claim the paintings are just primed canvases – depicting nothing – that have been covered up recently due to attracting nuisance crowds of unwarranted sightseers. Your mission is to go undercover and reveal the truth of this situation by ascertaining whether the paintings are, indeed, primed canvases and the cover-up is, just, a cover-up. Go disguised as an art viewer and note all suspicious circumstances – such as other art viewers. And remember, nothing is never nothing.


Details on the watercolour floorplan read as follows:

  • stairs of whispers
  • four covered-up, invisible paintings
  • undercover passageway
  • hidden entrance disguised with invisible paint
  • where two, undercover secret intelligence officers heatedly debated whether an invisible painting is still a painting – albeit one that cannot be seen
  • chairs
  • fifth covered-up, invisible painting
  • bench upon which to open the tins of invisible paint with screwdrivers (to lever their lids)
  • tins of invisible paint on shelves
  • library of hidden, possible meanings rumoured to be behind these five paintings (inscribed in invisible paint)
  • a seemingly empty room with walls inlaid with invisible meanings
  • an internal, purpose built lake guaranteed not to leak
  • blue vinyl carpet
  • hidden space for secret intelligence agents with an entrance disguised with invisible paint

The Big Coverup: white with blue stripe is available to collect.

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19/03/2005 Store 5 is … ?, Anna Schwartz Gallery (cur. Deborah Hennessy), Melbourne
07/11/2003 But is it art?, The Cross Art Projects, Sydney
George Alexander, Primed Suspects: Gail Hastings’ Sculptural Situations’, But is it Art?: Sculptural Situations by Gail Hastings, exhibition catalogue, The Cross Art Projects, Sydney 2003.
Gail Hastings, ‘Store 5 is …, Store 5 was … or, rather, Store 5 was not … easy – let’s face it’, Store 5 is ..., exhibition catalogue, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne 2005.
Lisa Kelly, ‘If Anything.’, in Gwynneth Porter and Dan Arps (ed.), Natural Selection Magazine, issue 1, 2004, pp.7.1–7.2
Ruark Lewis, ‘An emailed note concerning an art talk by Gail Hastings’, in Gwynneth Porter and Dan Arps (ed.), Natural Selection Magazine, issue 1, 2004, p.7.3,