Touch Up (2003)

Touch Up (2003) took place at the Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool and Art Workshop Lazareti in Dubrovnik. Touch Up explored concepts of ‘home’. This was devised in collaboration with my husband Gary Anderson. Gary and I coupled our hometowns Dubrovnik and Liverpool not only artistically through this live art event, but also in production: I managed the Liverpool event and Gary managed the Dubrovnik one. Touch Up therefore connected me, as an artist, to Liverpool and Gary to Dubrovnik. Part of our plan was to reduce the sense of alienation we both felt in each other’s cities.


Inflatable bed
Tree trunk stump
Photo album of the second child (Gabriel)
Photo album of important doors in Lena’s Dubrovnik
Big green notebook: Thai Journal
Blue notebook: diary of tasks and spending
Favourite toy of Neal: Hoba (octopus)
Favourite piece of clothing of Gary’s, his shirt
Lena’s white wedding dress
First set of wedding rings
Slides of the wedding day


In the centre of the space there will be an inflatable bed with a tree trunk at its head. On the bed there will be items (noted with bullets in the above mentioned text). Around the bed with the items there will be chairs for the audience. All the chairs are facing the bed. There will be a slide show of the wedding day on the wall. Two extra chairs to be used by the participants who will be in two opposite corners.


Lena and Gary will greet the audience and invite them into the space.
The audience will be asked to sit down or stand if there are no more chairs.
Lena and Gary will sit outside the circle onto 2 chairs, and introduce all the items to the audience, reading the text.
Lena and Gary will host the slide show of their wedding day.
Lena and Gary will act out an ordinary evening scene in darkness.
There will be time for the audience to look at the items individually.
It is time to go.

Extracts from text:

Gary: A wedding dress like this puts lots of pressure on you as you get older. The day must come when you can’t fit into it anymore. But there was blood on your leg, just below your knee and I remember thinking that it would be quite apt for a drop to get on the dress. I didn’t have any kind of meaning as to why that would be so either. Just thought it. It showed up on the photos too.

Lena: Each time I am in Dubrovnik I feel the need to recollect my memories… to visit some past places, to contrast them with the new ones. So I decided to go around the town on a homage to all the doors that ever meant something to me. Entrances, flats, my grandparents’ places, churches of christening, confirmation, wedding, schools… all seem so small.