Performance art is one of the most challenging and thought-provoking forms of creative endeavour, bringing an ethereal yet physical quality to the expression of fundamental issues such as self-identity, the ambiguity of time and our place in the universe.
It was originated by the French surrealist, Galimatias Niaiserie, whose seminal work, Le Croissant Agile. caused uproar at the 1916 Paris Biennale, but has since been recreated by a legion of artists, including Gene Kelly, Alec Douglas-Home, Vanessa Feltz and Nigella Lawson to name but a few.
In the UK, pensioners have become the driving force behind the continuing vigour of the genre and in 2011, the Turner Prize was awarded to 72-year-old Buncombe Clamjamphrie, whose The Goulash Arty Pelican involved 300 naked political prisoners in a three-week long endeavour to create a 400 ft (121.9 m) high image of a pelican using only those ingredients normally found in stew. In 2013, Clamjamphrie produced an alternative microwave version of the piece, which took only two minutes to complete and used two hundredweight (101.6 kilos) of quorn.