work:
The Lights Going On and Off
artist:
Martin Creed
location:
Tate Britain Gallery, London, England
date:
December 11, 2001

After dreaming that she threw eggs at Martin Creed's work, The lights Going On and Off, Jacqueline Crofton woke up, announced her intentions to her husband over breakfast and set about turning her dreams into reality by throwing two eggs while the lights were off in the room housing the Turner Prize winning work.

52 year old Crofton, described as "a genuine artist"[1], from North London was quoted saying "I have nothing against Creed, although I do not think his work can be considered as art. At worst, The Lights Going On And Off is an electrical work. At best, it is philosophy. What I object to fiercely is that we've got this cartel who control the top echelons of the art world in this country and leave no access for painters and sculptors with real creative talent."[2]

After the incident, Crofton was escorted from the gallery and subsequently banned from entering any Tate gallery, including Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives. The work itself, which is essentially an empty room where the lights go on and off was un-damaged - the eggs having being wiped off the walls within minutes and the room opened to the public the same day of the incident.

This was not the first time that Tate Britain has seen eggs thrown at one of its exhibits, in 1997 another artist Jacques Role, threw eggs at Marcus Harvey's Myra on the same day and not long after the painting had ink thrown on it.

Crofton's attack is rather unique in that most documented instances of art vandalism are committed by males with only a few notable exceptions, the most famous of which involving being an attack on Velazquez's Rokeby Venus in 1914 by suffragette Mary Richardson.

1. "Lights out in an empty room," Gene Veith; World magazine, April 13 2.Tate Egg Protester Faces Life Ban BBC NEWS Wednesday, 12 December, 2001,

2. Ibid