6 - 8pm, Tuesday 12th Nov


Nicole Wassall - Precious Mettle

Contemporary artist Nicole Wassall conducted a social experiment at the recent private view of her new exhibition, Precious Mettle, to see if visitors might be tempted to steal her art.

She positioned a camera above her leading piece, Thank You, which is a pile of polished two pence coins with 'EQUAL PAY 4 WOMEN' stamped across the two sides of each coin. All invitees were known to Wassall and or the gallery and she wondered if any might be tempted to pilfer a coin from the pile.

She rolled back the footage together with the gallery directors and - lo and behold, a man secretly (or not so secretly) stole a coin, and then minutes later returned to take a second coin.

There is almost laughable irony in a man stealing from a female artist who is making a statement about the gender pay-gap. Wassall claimed she “predicted if anyone stole a coin, it would be a man... I said that to a friend and my sister before the exhibition - they didn’t believe anything would be taken!”


St James's 40-41 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5JG