Photography Simon Starling

Commissioned by Visual Art Projects on behalf of the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland, 1998

Printed wool carpet installed over two floors of the new Tron Theatre offices

A collective staff portrait built from conversations on the ideal work environment, professional relationships and the balance between private and working lives


I Put my Name on Everything

As part of the commissioning process and during the re-build of the Tron Theatre complex we were based in the temporary staff offices in a nearby street overlooking the theatre.

The desk we used in the large open-plan office situated us in the midst of the theatre’s business. This allowed us to talk to staff about the theatre and to see how they worked at their jobs and with each other. Discussing the roles of staff and staff interaction quickly became central to discussions. A process of exchange took place with the expectation that we would transform information into something that would be of benefit to this specific group of people. Accepting us into their working environment, staff discussed with us our role in the rebuilding of their theatre. They expressed their feelings of alienation from what they had anticipated as a consultation process and as a development of the ethos of a small artist-initiated theatre.

Conversations moved towards issues surrounding the creation and occupation of an ideal work environment, professional relationships, territory and the balance between private and working lives.

As relationships developed with the staff, we shifted from the idea of making a work for the public areas of the theatre to making a work for their offices. The final phase of development, the furnishing of the offices, was to be severely limited in terms of funding. An award-winning building housed age-old furniture and equipment.

The outcome of this consultation process was a wool carpet containing anonymous quotes from a series of interviews with the staff that worked for the Tron during the period of the rebuild. The carpet is a collective portrait of that particular group of people, installed in their offices on two floors of the new Tron Theatre.

Commissioned by Visual Art Projects on behalf of the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland.