Working with Amy Lawrence – Invisible Artworks

For Accrington Libraries contribution to this years Blaze festival a group of artists are working with curator Amy Lawrence over 10 weekly sessions. We are working towards an exhibition to take place during the Blaze festival.

One of the tasks between sessions, set by Amy, was to look at the top 10 best invisible artworks, an article by the Guardian, and recreate one of these artworks, either through using a similar theme or putting our own spin on things.

Here are what the group got up to:

Alex Wearing:

The Piece is inspired by piece Untitled (Horse), 2003 by Bruno Jakob, in which the artist hold up an invisible portrait, created with water to a horse. The aim is to capture the connection between man and animal which would be unseen trough a traditional portrait.
I recreated Jakob’s piece in my kitchen, its an exploration of the unseen sprit created by our imagination.
I’m having a cup of coffee with an invisible person I’m not quite sure who they are, perhaps a sprit who has past or just a figment of my imagination, while I drink my tea I’m creating a portrait of how I feel them to look, I’m drawing the ideal person, there visually perfect and most pleasing to draw, they have no voice and remain silent. The lead in pencil is invisible so the paper remains blank to the human eye.

Katie Suthers:

For my work I took inspiration from The Empty Museum – Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. They shone lights onto the walls of an empty gallery essentially framing a space on the wall with nothing on it, making people question what the art was. So I took this as inspiration and I removed all the picture from their frames within my house and also moved ornaments into different locations then sat and waited for my partners reactions, staged like a mini intervention within my own home. I didn’t recorded the event as I felt is was a one time reaction piece within the moment and wanted it to remain an invisible work to anyone that wasn’t there at the time and the story of what happened could also become the art.

Antonia Hennerley:

My Invisible Artwork inspiration came from three of the works on the list.
1) Untitled (A Curse) Tom Friedman, 1992- “how one’s knowledge of the history behind something affects one’s thinking about that thing”.

2) Radiation piece, Robert Barry, 1969- his art work worked with the intangible energy of radiation he was interested how it exists “outside the narrow arbitrary limits of our own senses”.

3) Untitled (Horse) Bruno Jakob, 2003- this is an invisible painting made with water on a canvas. Jakob did a series of invisible paintings working to capture an ethereal aspect of their existence. This painting shows an invisible connection between man and animal that no ordinary painting could possibly portrait.

I also created not only one piece of work, but quite a few! (and all in one morning!). I set my alarm for 5am on the day of the deadline/showcase. I woke energised and full of enthusiasm after mulling over my ideas for the past 2 weeks!

One piece I created was a recorded song. Here is the link:

For this part of the artwork is the story of how it was made. I had a friend staying with me for 2 weeks and he suffered bad anxiety. We formed a beautiful bond and on his way home we naturally created a basis for a song, he wrote the words in my book and I said goodbye to him.
While he stayed with me one evening I asked him to paint me a picture and this is what he painted:



He told me that this was a vision he had had once, a realisation that we are all on one universal wave. The same universal wave that pulses through space pulses through earth and through us, we are all just on different frequencies.

I believe this was the basis of the connection we shared which lead us to create the lyrics we wrote and in turn the sound art work I created the morning of the brief deadline. This art work I created both encompasses the invisible connected we shared (like Bruno Jakob’s idea) the invisible connection we have over distance, the invisible feeling we shared, the invisible wave that we pulsed on, the invisible energy (like Robert Barry), and I wanted to share the story because I found it to be interesting how our experiences of something we encounter/connect with can completely change based on our knowledge of it.

I also created some more works, 4 pieces but all working within the same kind of intent/materials.

Working with Amy Lawrence - Invisible Artworks (4) Working with Amy Lawrence - Invisible Artworks (7) Working with Amy Lawrence - Invisible Artworks (5) Working with Amy Lawrence - Invisible Artworks (6)


With this piece I hung up a piece of paper in my window, doorway, tree and street. I woke up early because I wanted to capture the essence of the sunrise and the energy of the Suns rays that pulsed through my window and into my house. I was interested in the idea of if the paper would feel differently, to the other papers I hung around.

I hung a piece in my doorway, my intent for this paper was to capture the energies that passed into my house and out, are their spirits wandering aimlessly around that we cannot see? So people leave a trail of their energy in their everyday journeys?

The paper I hung in a tree was to capture the energy from the spirit of the plant. Do plants talk and can this paper hold their whisperings?

And lastly the paper hung in my street. This one I hung before sunrise and before people-rise. I wanted to connect both sides of my street, I had the intent to capture my community, the energy of my street, the invisible threads that hold us all together, the invisible connection between brick walls at either side of a cobbled street, the invisible connection between you and your neighbours. I had also been think about my friends painting and the invisible pulse/wave we are all riding along, I intended this paper to absorb this wave, I envisioned the wave to ride down in the rising of the sun and also with the rolling of the weather-the wind, the birds singing, the passing traffic, the people walking by, the eyes of people from their bedroom windows. I had one lady ask my did I know what this was as she thought it was a no entry sign for the street, I like the idea…the invisible thoughts people project. This paper hold all of the above and more.

The above art works rely a lot on intent, intent is really important. Without intent there is nothing, and with it there is everything. I presented these artworks as a booklet of papers and the intent I had with what I wanted to capture within them.

I also created some invisible drawings with water like Bruno Jakob on my windows. I used my mouth to steam up the windows and wrote messages backwards intended for the passers by to be able to read (invisibly once dry). This was kind of working like the curse of Tom Friedman, but without the knowledge. It was my intended words cast out of the window to my community and passers by to feel, not to read because the words written were impermanent. The thought and intent and energy still lingers… Which is also like Robert Barry’s radiation work, which still lived/lives on after his art work as an energy/a force invisible to the eye.

Working with Amy Lawrence - Invisible Artworks (8) Working with Amy Lawrence - Invisible Artworks (9) Working with Amy Lawrence - Invisible Artworks (10) Working with Amy Lawrence - Invisible Artworks (1)

Sophie Skellern:

For me, Inspired by The Empty Museum – Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, whereby deep red walls are dramatically spot-lit and where we might expect to find paintings on the walls, there are only pools of light. Also inspired by Untitled (Horse) – Bruno Jakob, where the artist held up a blank canvas to a horse and thereby conjuring an unseen connection between man and animal that no straightforward portrait could convey. This and the idea of displaying things that aren’t there, or having the concept of the work define the impact on the viewer.

I decided to film non-spaces around my home. Spaces and places that are not often observed, spaces that have always been present but are never thought about or interacted with in any way, least of all as subject to an art piece.

The camera is often in total darkness, and even though we cannot see what it is filming, the documentation of the non space is taking place. An unseen connection between the camera and the space is formed.

Spaces include:

  • Inside a shoe
  • On a high up shelf
  • Inside a cupboard
  • Inside the tumble dryer
  • Inside the fridge
  • Down the plughole
  • The gap in-between the slats of blinds
  • A shelving unit
  • Underneath a storage unit