Another train journey, another book, the same knitting...
This time for a much awaited visit to the British Museum, not only because it meant a day out with my very special friend Jude (no trouble recognising her because she was wearing a zombie)...
But also because we were going to see this exhibition.
I've read so much about it, seen the wonderful "Imagine" programme about it, heard so many good things about it, I really did wonder if it would live up to expectations. I was already excited just being inside the British Museum and this amazing courtyard... it is so long since I was last there.
At the entrance to the exhibition is the amazing motorbike, on which Grayson Perry took his teddy, Alan Measles, on a pilgrimage to Germany. I feel there is so much I could say about this exhibition, but so much has already been written that I'm not sure where to start. Perry has taken artifacts from the BM's collection and they are displayed in juxtaposition with his own work. He addresses themes such as shamanism, journeys, relics, shrines, sexuality and contemporary culture all connected with ideas of craftsmanship... and it is wonderful. The transistion between modern and ancient object is seamless, the captions on the labels are insightful, intelligent and to the point.
Most of all it is such a clever exhibition... and funny.
For me it really struck a chord about some of the things I felt about doing the MA. Primarily I withdrew because I was struggling to juggle the studying with other aspects of my life, but that was not the only reason. I probably would have struggled on but I wasn't enjoying it either. I had the overwhelming feeling that everyone was so serious, constantly trying to justify the work with deep inner meanings that smacked more than a little of the Emperor's New Clothes. I don't have a problem with work having meaning or concepts but I do think there is a danger of taking everything too seriously and that is just not for me. One of the captions at the exhibition summed this up: "Sometimes our human desire for meaning can get in the way of having a good experience of the world" I think Grayson Perry knows exactly how I feel!
A brilliant exhibition, a brilliant day out with a friend... and of course a brilliant lunch at our favourite haunt.