top of page

Cosmetic Anticlimax, 2023


Invited by Eastcheap Project Space in Letchworth Garden City to create a window display for their new premises, Abbott used this opportunity to produce an intuitive, site-specific live-drawing, during the month of April, 2023. Using paint pens, Abbott drew on both the window and the wall behind, in front of a live audience. Incorporating many motifs from his drawing practice, these were scaled up to fit the space and included some text which created a dialogue with the audience. The work was completed in four hour-long sessions in which the audience were invited to watch ‘the artist at work.’ The ‘in progress’ artwork was viewed by thousands of passers-by during the periods between drawing sessions, as the piece developed and grew over time.


Trip Hazard, 2017
Trip Hazard was an hour-long performance which took place on 3rd December 2017 at the Broadway Gallery in Letchworth Garden City. Audience members were invited to take a newspaper-format zine and handmade badge as documents of the performance before they were seated. Abbott used electronic audio equipment manipulated live to accompany the performance including a Korg Kaossilator, the vocoder on a Microkorg as well as a contact microphone connected to a drawing board. As well as the live audio and the physical presence of the artist, a vintage slide projector was used to display enlarged micro-drawings that Abbott incorporated into the show. Props included in the performance: fairy lights, platform heels, a plastic lobster, strawberry laces, a transparent sheet and a Barbie. Click here for an edited video clip of the piece.


Tony Hawk’s Psycho Brother, 2012
This photograph is all that remains of Abbott’s Camberwell Degree Show piece, which overall, was underwhelming. This image however is visceral and bizarre and shows the artists first foray into the use of strawberry laces as an artistic material.


You Cannot Be Serious?, 2011
You Cannot Be Serious? was a performance project from 2011, based around the phenomenon of 'invisible tennis' where players mime, using an invisible ball to play the game. Inspired by Robert Rauschenberg's performance piece: Open Score (1966) and the final sequence from Antonioni's film Blow Up (1966), combined with John McEnroe's infamous outburst, You Cannot Be Serious? is the title of a series of works across multiple disciplines that explore ideas around performance documentation. The series culminated in an exhibition displaying all works associated with the invisible tennis theme and a performance which can be viewed here.

This photograph is the only record of this can of bespoke invisible tennis balls made exclusively for the Wimbledon queue in 2011 because the stewards threw it away. Abbott performed invisible tennis with the queueing public and once inside Wimbledon even got to sign somebody's giant tennis ball.

Original live performance of You Cannot Be Serious? which took place at Peek Show, The Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey in 2011.

Performance relic at the end of Callum Abbott Presents: You Cannot Be Serious?, 2011, a one-night-only exhibition. A smashed tennis racquet is inspected by the audience.


Pig Girl & Latex Boy, 2010 - 2012
During his time at art school, Abbott developed a collaborative performance practice with fellow drawing student, Norwegian artist, Anette Friedrich Johannessen. Their mutual rejection of painting and observational drawing led the two artists to explore performance art together and after a number of live performances, with and without audiences, the duo became known as Pig Girl & Latex Boy. Coming from different parts of the world and with an age gap of ten years, Johannessen and Abbott thrived on spontaneity and intuition through performance. Using rhythm and repetition, the two artists wanted to make artwork that questioned gender and explored the body to create a live experience like no other.

Light Show, 2011

A performance witnessed by only three spectators at New Gallery in Peckham

Phonebox 1.png

Shrieking at passers-by in a phone box, 2011

Sound Drawing 2.png

Sound Drawing, 2010

Experimental B&W video piece using a contact microphone and drawing board to enhance the sound of rhythmic drawing.

bottom of page