NO COMMENT / Museum London, London ON, 2003 / embroidered textile, 92 bicycle spokes,
48cm h x 1382cm w (That's right! 45 feet long! All hand-embroidered and appliqued!)
My sister had sent me two rolls of English "crash", a coarse linen toweling which I joined to make one 45 feet long piece which just happened to fit the space in Museum London (after they moved a temperature and humidity sensor).
The proportions suggested to me The Bayeux Tapestry and there is a nod to the "tapestry" in the way I've treated the lower edge of No Comment and incorporated a progression of bicycles.
(There were an extraordinary numbers of
bicycle sketches in the comment books).
COPYRIGHT 2006 / cotton yarn embroidered on cotton window blind, 55" h x 36" w, 2006
Collection: Museum London
Copyright 2006 is a coda of sorts. As curator Robin Metcalfe and I were discussing the colour of the paint for the wall where No Comment was to hang, there was a heart-stopping exchange of phone calls with the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The up-shot was that they felt they owned the copyright on the Visitors' Comments books and wanted to know what the heck I was doing with them.... I really hate confrontation of any kind and especially after working so intensely for 6 months - one of those periods when my husband refers to me as "Kirtley Who?" - when I had literally no perspective or confidence about the work. I mean, doing what I do can seem a bit wacky.
Copyright 2006 is my handwriting. It is a transcription of the final phone message from the Copyright Administrator at the AGO. Calculation for the time to cook a Sunday dinner roast beef is at the top:
Hi. This is Syvalya Elchen calling from the AGO.
My message is for Kirtley.
I understand that the exhibition in London went extremely well.
I got a report back from Nora….uh…Laura.
and I just wanted to respond to your email that Yes
if you show “No Comment” again
it would be helpful to have that credit line from the AGO
And also this is just for your own information as an artist
who I’m sure will do many things in the future.
This is always helpful for your protection….
to…uh…to always ask permission first and there probably the likelihood of not
getting it was pretty slim.
In particular in this incidence the one good thing was to not put people’s
So no one wants to have legal complications.
This is just a….uh….precautionary measure.
In any event I wish you the best in your future endeavours.
Copyright 2006 was shown at the Wordsmiths exhibition at the Cambridge Galleries.