The Cyclodusa, 2012

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool Biennial/ DaDaFest

For three days during opening hours I stood on a plinth in the centre of the Victorian Room at the Walker Art Gallery as a living exhibit. I wore a rough tunic that echoed the style of costumes in the paintings around the room and added a touch of Victorian Aesthetic opulence by covering my head with fake eyes as though representing some mythological character or other. I named the piece Cyclodusa to indicate the mutant nature of my invention: a Medusa head of Cyclops eyes rather than snakes.
Atop the plinth I was mostly immobile, holding various poses that copied those of the models in the 40-odd High Victorian paintings hung around the Gallery. Stationed right in the centre of the room I was the first thing visitors were confronted by when they entered.

The eyes attached to my head presented a macabre image and whereas some people turned away in distaste, others couldn’t pull their own eyes away, standing in front of me until I moved again. Kids were dragged away and explanations demanded from the assistants. As though reflected back through the eyes fixed to my immobile head, the work became largely about the public’s response to my 30-eyed figure as well as to the Gallery’s own operations as a popular public venue.