Dear Wives, 2002
IASPIS Gallery, Stockholm

Steel tubing, painted acrylic floor, text leaflet

...I think I heard someone say that it was important that people could walk on it and move about freely, which is something that I’ve always thought of as very important in my work. If you say, yes, this is for people to walk/sit on, there’s nothing worse than having an invigilator running after you saying, oh, but it’s only one at a time, and you can’t take your drinks, and you must take your shoes off first ... that really is the worst of all. I just can’t abide looking at art in my socks. But it’s very Nordic. What’s that all about? We keep insulting people here by walking into their houses and keeping our shoes on. Not deliberately, we’re just not as fastidious about it as the Scandinavians. I think it threatens our Scottish protestant roots, makes us feel too vulnerable to be in non-intimate company without our boots on – what if we had to make a quick getaway? Or someone steals our shoes? I think most Glaswegians I know have a real problem with it, it’s funny how such a small thing can become a big deal, set nations apart as it were. I guess we don’t have such nice floors, or maybe just not enough respect for them. But we are impressing the importance of it on Archie. We’ve told him it’s the Golden Rule of Sweden – always take your boots off.

Extract from correspondence with Henry VIII's Wives