______ work, 2016

Katherine Rutecki


______ work, 2016


six hour-live drawing, sumi ink on paper


blown and hot cast glass, mirror, Birchwood ply, acrylic



“_______ work” is a six-hour endurance performance drawing and installation I executed at the Vergette Gallery here at Southern Illinois University in the fall of 2016.  The installation included a paper I patch worked together from tracing paper and wheat paste to the specific dimensions of the far wall of the gallery, 10 x 13 feet, three blown glass sculptures mounted to the walls of the gallery, and an armchair.  The blown glass sculptures are abstract, organic, forms encrusted with glass nipples moulded from my own, and inlayed with mirror.  Similarly, the repeated circular marks drawn in the performance are representative of nipples.



I gave myself my entire Friday work day, beginning at eleven o’clock, six hours with no breaks to fully visualize that process and to emphasis the accumulation of time and attention.

I set up a tripod and camera at the back of the gallery, a note on the gallery door instructed visitors to take a photo when they came in. 

Life happens and at two o’clock I got a call from the Elementary School, my daughter, age five, had a short day at school and I hadn’t known that there was no after school care that day as per the norm. I had to run to her school and pick her up and bring her back with me to the gallery. 

I set my daughter, Frankie June, up with a big box of markers from the Art Education room across the hall and a roll of tracing paper from my installation, she drew for three hours, side by side with me, the drawing she made she named “Cucumber”.  I tacked her drawing on the wall next to my drawing for the ending reception. 

Opposite to the drawing, in the corner, I placed an armchair to emphasis my labour, I was not sitting down, I was simultaneously drawing the nipple forms and keeping my child entertained whilst I worked.

The completed drawing has the presence of a large benevolent being, like a humpback whale, a parent’s love.