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Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, 17:36 GMT
Tate egg protester faces life ban
Martin Creed and Madonna
Madonna presented Martin Creed the Turner Prize.
A woman has been barred from Tate galleries for life after she hurled eggs at this year's Turner Prize winning exhibit - an empty room with a pair of flashing lights.

The punishment was meted out to grandmother Jacqueline Crofton after she walked into The Lights Going On and Off, the work of minimalist artist Martin Creed and vented her fury.


We have no idea why she did it

Spokesman
Tate Britain

The 52-year-old grandmother, herself a successful artist, was immediately escorted from the gallery after Tate Britain officials called the police.

Mrs Crofton, of Hampstead Heath, north west London, said: "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," she told London's Evening Standard.

"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.

The Lights Going On And Off
The exhibit has brought the Turner Prize its usual controversy

"All they are interested in is manufacturers of gimmicks like Creed, who made his name with a ball of BluTac and a sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball."

She added: "Someone had to make a stand. I am anything but a typical anarchist."

But her words cut no ice with the Tate Britain.

"We have told the woman that she is not welcome in the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives," said a spokesman.

Clean up

Recalling the incident, he told BBC News Online: "A woman in the Turner Prize exhibition threw two eggs against the Martin Creed room.

"Immediately she was escorted from the gallery. The eggs were cleaned up and minutes after the incident, the gallery was back to normal.

"We have no idea why she did it.

"We take every issue regarding the security of the gallery and the security of the works of art very seriously. That is why the police were called when the eggs were thrown."

Dreamed drama

Mrs Crofton, whose recent art topics have included the devastated World Trade Center and homeless people in London, counts actor Sir Michael Caine among her buyers.

She told the Standard that she had dreamed up the stunt, which initially shocked her husband.

"I had this dream on Monday that I was in Creed's room throwing eggs. I woke up and decided to turn it into a reality," she said.

She claimed that the attention gained by the Turner Prize exhibits was "humiliating" for the majority of "genuine artists" in the UK.

Two years ago Turner Prize nominee Tracey Emin's installation of her bedroom - My Bed - attracted controversy and an attack by two visual artists who held a pillow fight on the bed.

Pop icon Madonna presented Creed with the Turner Prize on Sunday. He beat off competition from Mike Nelson, Richard Billingham and Isaac Julien.

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