clean | mend

In return for a structured space and time for reflection, Shelly, Kevin and their family get a spotless bathroom. Important little things get fixed, to be used again. Somehow, in some ways, we are connected.

Presented as part of Arthouses, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August 2017, 6-10pm, Victoria Avenue, Whitley Bay.

Special thanks to Sophie Buxton, Rob Smith, Shelly and Kevin.



move everything out

Mostly thinking about the piece, the technology
Starting to relax

bleach & clean toilet

Other thoughts beginning to open up, wide ranging, non specific, loosening

sweep and dust (including wall & ceiling areas)

Lots of different things
Wanting to do a good job
Taking my time
Wondering what my family are doing
Thinking about my friend's invite to a gig in Glasgow in October - need to reply, do I really want to go?

clean window & mirror

Don't like this window cleaner
I'm using the wrong cloth
Thinking about someone I've just seen, an artist, Sneha
Makes me think of another artist I've worked with, Heath Bunting
Recently received an invite from Heath to an event, in Bristol
I won't be able to make it

clean picture & mirror surround

Starting thinking about who might be coming tonight
A member of the swimming club came to mind
What might they think of it?
Noted the picture appears to be stuck on the wall, rather than hung
Just cleaned the edges, though it's a print, probably fairly resilient

clean bath & shower area

Wasn't going to do the wall, but looked good when I wiped it
This effect was short lived!
I'll probably leave the rest
The foaming spray is my favourite
Feels super effective! Very satisfying
I'm making choices about what to think about
Though thoughts come and go
Thought about work for the first time, nothing specific
Coniston swim popped in too, fleetingly
I might now decide to focus on something specific
See how that goes
Almost one hour gone
Slight headache - ran out of time to eat...

clean window area inc. small step leading to sink

Decided to do the walls after all
I'm in no hurry
Having decided to focus on something specific, linked to one of my volunteer roles, I quickly found myself focusing on the task of cleaning instead
I think I've been doing a lot of thinking recently, it's a holiday thing
That's what I like about cleaning, one moment it's big important things, the next 100% focus on the task in hand
Occasionally I hear people, and am conscious of other householders busy doing things, I don't know what
Bottles clanking too
Might focus now on work stuff, see how that goes
It's lovely and peaceful here

clean sink area

Lots of thoughts
None about work!
Thinking about art, views on this
Thinking about another member of the swimming club involved in street/gallery art
Reflecting on Kevin and Shelly's older children going away to university
Thinking about my children
Curious about other noises in the house
Headache still dull, think I'll be ok
Noted the loose tap, to be fixed tomorrow night

clean chrome radiator

Radiator is quite rusty, difficult to clean
Mind blank, task focused
Similar to the radiator we've just installed
Hope that doesn't rust...

clean door

Thinking about time
Should aim to finish at, say, 9.15
30 mins to dry
15 mins to put everything back
Not sure it will take that long, at this rate
As I'm not familiar with the space finding I need to focus more on the task
I want to do a really good job for Shelly and Kevin
It's so quiet
Except the road noise, bottles clanking

clean white radiator

The more I clean the more content I feel
It's definately the holiday effect
Guess I've been thinking about important stuff for almost two weeks, on and off
I'm all thought out!
Feels good
Empty and full
I think I'll do the ceiling now

clean cupboard door

I'm starting to look forward to the challenges
Am I
I think so
I think I know what to do
What I can do, anyway
I'm really trying to not take things personally
Be in my Adult Ego State
Act my age
Catch up
Ceiling next?

I'm pleased with how it's going!
It will all come together when I clean the floor and toilet
Don't ususally clean the ceiling
Though in our ensuite we have some specs of mould
An autumn job
Think I might clean the shower curtain too
Though it looks quite clean
Are they machine washable
I wonder

clean toilet & area around toilet

flush & bleach toilet

bleach sink & bath

Generally don't like wearing rubber gloves, makes it harder
Reflecting on people who might see the work again, people I know
What might they think?
Odd being cut off from people's reactions to the work
Whilst knowing they are present
Just the floor to do
Might then let it dry
And then clean and replace their stuff
Guess it will take as long as it takes...

clean floor

Some darker thoughts...
One work related (slight)
The other familial
I'm questioning my role/approach
Though there's a numbness too
Not sure if it's indifference, as such
I'm going to let the floor dry now for 15 mins
Then leave floor to dry (15 mins)

More time to think
Sitting on the stairs
Waiting for the bathtroom floor to dry
Think I'm done thinking

move all items back into space

wipe clean toilet brush/holder

Some ups
And downs
Felt very positive, around 8pm
Middling now
Bathroom looks great though!



Bernie's punctured bicycle tyre (spanner, puncture repair kit [crayon, sandpaper, glue, patch, chalk, tyre levers], pump) <30 mins

Bernie's broken ceramic object (glue, cardboard[1]) <30 mins

Shelly & Kevin's broken scissors (glue, insulation tape, cardboard[2]) <20 mins

Shelly's blouse button (needle, thread) <15 mins

Kevin's golfbag (heavy duty needle, thread)

Kevin's rucksack (heavy duty needle, thread)

Sophie's two pairs of trousers without pockets (needle, thread, pins, pocket material) <1 hour

Sophie's children's trousers with hole in knee (needle, thread)

Sophie's small wooden monkey missing an arm (wood, knife, wood glue) <30 mins

Bernie's standard lamp that needs the bulb holder replaced (flat & cross head screw driver) <30 mins