Tanks and Tablecloths at Newlyn Art Gallery

The exhibition space at the Newlyn Art Gallery was offered to us as part of the 'Transition 5' series in November 2004. We had proposed to turn the area into a MILDOMOPS (Miltary-Domestic Operations) room, a conceptual work and exhibition space. We were in the space for the 3-day duration of the exhibition, working on the project and talking to visitors.

The space was divided, by a demarcation of a 'No Man's Land', into MILOPS, where we were working and DOMOPS, where visitors were encouraged by us to contribute to the production of various artworks. There was also a looped slideshow of the Tanks & Tablecloths Visual Archive and reading material relating to the work, with tea and cakes on offer.


1. Information gathering/communication area (DOMOPS)
2. Recording/analysis/artwork area (MILOPS)
3. Horizontal plotting board (with plotting stick)
4. Vertical Perspex plotting board
5. No Man’s Land (marked on floor with tape)
6. Administration area - desk, 2 chairs, typewriters, filing
7. Retractable screen
8. Comfy chairs, sidetables for tea, reading etc

The central focus of the space was the Plotting Table, which straddled No Man's Land in the centre of the room. The table, which was based on the visual aesthetic of a wartime plotting table, was intended as a ever-changing brainstorm, in which visitor interaction was an integral part.

Visitors were encouraged to write on pre-prepared blocks, words relating to the military or the domestic and place them on the table in relation to 'Tanks'(military) in one corner and 'Tablecloths'(domestic) in the other. They were also able to use plotting sticks to manouvere the words into position with one other, making visual connections between them.