primed canvas (charcoal grey)

But is it art? 2003, Primed, Gail Hastings

primed canvas (charcoal grey) 2002 first appeared in sculptural situation: plans at the Heidi Museum of Modern Art (cur. Zara Stanhope), Melbourne, in 2003. primed canvas (charcoal grey) is one of seven in the unlimited edition primed canvas. The artwork's medium includes lead pencil and watercolour on paper and gesso on canvas, and comprises of 2 components measuring, overall, 192.5 cm from the floor by 138 cm wide. primed canvas (charcoal grey) is in a private collection: Chicago, 2009.

‘Five secret intelligence officers are presently meeting to finalise what will be painted on the preceding, primed canvas; whereupon it will be painted and the work of art completed.’

– while on the way to the meeting, this is where Secret Intelligence Officer 4 had looked into the magnifying lens of a carry-bag periscope, enabling a view behind so as to check no one was following   x

– where Officer 2 had felt pressured to reach a decision at the approaching meeting  x

– where Officer 3 had despaired it would not be agreed at the meeting that the canvas be painted a charcoal grey    x

– where Officer 1 had hoped no one had blown the cover of Operation Vacant Space by attending this clandestine meeting  x

– where Officer 5 stood to look at the primed canvas

– entrance to the Vacant Space

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.
Anna Clabburn, Space is the text best thing’, The Weekend Australian: Arts, 22–23 February 2003, p.R13.
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,