Jane Grisewood: These are time-based drawings tracking the movement of performance artist Philip Lee while performing Blindfold Slip I (The Old Truman Brewery, London), Blindfold Slip II (The Nunnery, London) and Blindfold Slip III (Stone Squid Experimental Art Space, Hastings). The drawings are a response to his performances and attempt to record the virtual trajectory and traces of his body moving in time and space through seismic-like marks on the paper.
Philip Lee: Jane was very much on my mind when I was blindfolded during all three of the Blindfold Slip performances. Jane drew 'blind' from her drawings, only looking at me and Cally Trench, my collaborator and fellow-performer, as she marked the paper; responding to my movements with one hand holding a graphite stick, and making darker carbon marks with her other hand, in response to Cally's movements.
The Blindfold Slip performances were the first time I have not been able to see what the audience was doing and interact with them during a performance. I did not anticipate that sightlessness would affect me so much; it made me feel very anxious. Was I being ignored? Had they all gone? Were they laughing at the performance and particularly at me? What is going on? At times I felt miserable. And yet, I would think, at least Jane is with me; at least Jane is watching. Jane is registering my every move, my every breath. I am not alone; at the very least I am performing for Jane, so I will keep going.
After each performance, Jane showed us the wonderful drawings she had made. They completely evoked the whole performance. As she described her experience her enthusiasm and delight were clear. She felt part of the performance; she felt that she was so attuned to what I was doing, and experiencing it so utterly, that it was as if she were performing herself. While she seemed somewhat embarrassed to claim such a thing, hearing her say so delighted me. This is much more than being carefully observed and experiencing empathy, it is engaging with a performance in a way that is exceptional, and to which I might have aspired, if could have imagined. Jane's engagement with the performance, and resulting drawings, are the ultimate response to a live body performance.