We hunt for ideas everywhere, walking around, scrolling through websites, leafing through books and magazines often…in the quiet of the bathroom. A compelling article in the New York Time’s T Magazine made us hunt for a bookmark there. Et voila: we discovered that toilet paper is thin enough to not make a mark on any publication, wide enough to catch our attention days later like a curiously delicate flag.

What made us look so hard for a marker? These potent bits about British artist Sarah Lucas, who appears to live a unique, powerfully improvised life:

It is difficult to say why one artist and not another should be able to imbue a form or collection of objects with his or her own singular energy. Lucas herself is not sure how it happens — knowing only that some combinations have a simplicity and elegance about them. Daring must come into it too, as must a kind of transference of power from artist to material and an ability to snap the familiar out of context…

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

She’s wearing no makeup, there’s a cut on her nose, her hair is unbrushed; and yet she is attractive in the most fundamental sense of the word.There’s no pretension; there’s no masking,” the gallerist Sadie Coles, who has represented Lucas since 1997, had warned me. “And that actually is extremely refreshing and sometimes quite shocking. You are confronted with her straight on…

Self Portrait with Fried Eggs, Sarah Lucas
Self Portrait with Fried Eggs, Sarah Lucas

…It’s characteristic of Lucas’s approach that she both needs and has the confidence to take periodic retreats from the main stage in order to preserve her own enjoyment in art making, rather than feeling hobbled by obligation. 

…Making the most of the materials you are given is a principle that Lucas has consciously applied not just to her work, but also to her life…

…Lucas prefers to work “on the fly” rather than in a permanent studio…

The toilet paper marker made us revisit the compelling quotes, which made us to hunt down some of Lucas’s work…

Peter Clarkson
Peter Clarkson

It only occurs to me after our meeting that Lucas is always looking for something, without ever knowing quite what it is, and that this lies at the core of her art, in which objects are always on the brink of transformation, neither crude nor mystical, ordinary or powerful, but somehow and impossibly both. Her focus seems to be forever searching for an outlet, which makes conversation with her oddly electrifying.

Most people, she thinks, settle for such boring things: financial security, fame, material possessions. Happiness, I suggested, and she batted the thought away. “Happiness just comes and goes. . . . Whereas I wanted to go somewhere quite mystical, I think, but I’m not sure, but I haven’t been able to entirely invent this magical land for myself.” She paused, her legs curled under her, fiddling with her roll-up cigarette. “So maybe they saw reality for what it was,” she said, “whereas I thought it was elsewhere.”

…As well as that of her partner, composer, producer, collaborator Julian Simmons. We found this remarkable questions on the homepage of his website:

“what’s important…?”
“the mind behind” 

“what do you advocate…?”

We’re SO glad to have improvised our clever, ever-ready bookmark to keep tabs of finds and treasures…

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