Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Day :: Thirteen

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.

16 comments:

  1. Oh I desperately want to go to this exhibition - you have reminded me that I must get my skates on and book. I loved the programme the BBC did which followed GP as he curated the exhibition.

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  2. I am tempted to take my girls to see this over the holidays - do you think it would be suitable? I am mildly concerned (but only mildly) that there might be adult themes ... though I am adept at steering them past if needs be :-)

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  3. I'm so pleased you enjoyed it... but I knew you would. It really touches a chord doesn't it?

    And the exhibits (old and new) are all wonderful.

    Celia
    x

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  4. Sounds like a superb day -- v cool lunch venue. I think the way it has tied up with your thinking on the MA is really relevant and just confirms that you did the right thing. I agree with you as well.

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  5. I love that quote Gina. :)
    Although I was never an art student myself both my children were and during their years at art college I witnessed quite a bit of unnecessary seriousness from some!
    Vivienne x

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  6. I'm hoping to go and see this exhibition. Like you I read about it and was drawn in. Thanks for the pics.

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  7. The exhibition looks wonderful. When I was doing my degree I used to feel that I was being asked to fill sketchbooks for the sake of it when all I wanted to was get on and create!

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  8. Oh, I LOVE that Grayson Perry quote Gina -- thanks so much for posting it. I've felt that way for so long -- sometimes we're so full of ourselves, aren't we???

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  9. I saw it last week and was blown away! Very inspiring and soo funny.

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  10. I won't get to see it, but loved the tv programme!

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  11. It sounds fabulous. I don't know much about Grayson Perry's work but have enjoyed the few pieces I have seen. I find his appearance disquieting, but he is such an interesting and very talented person. Sadly, I missed the TV programme.

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  12. I think I need to go see. And this "Sometimes our human desire for meaning can get in the way of having a good experience of the world" is so true! I'm going to print it out and stick it above my desk.

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  13. Another glowing review to add to that long list I keep coming across. Perhaps this is the one I really should escape from the wilds to see! I'm also intrigued by that book.... any good? Something else to be recommended?

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  14. Oh I am glad you liked it. The bit that was the light bulb moment for me was at the beginning " do not look for meaning here" I think I am over thinking so much !
    Finished the knitting? Or another trip to London as an excuse?

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  15. Grayson Perry seems to strike a chord with so many people. He is able to express the thrill of creating with humour and fun, but his work is never shallow. Perhaps it is because he could be described as a 'craftsman' - working with pottery and textiles as he does, rather than a 'fine art' practitioner. His work also seems so personal to him, and yet we can find something to identify with. i really need to go to this exhibition!

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  16. I'm so glad you enjoyed this exhibition - when I raved about it on my blog I afterwards felt rather nervous about the responsibility of recommending it to others. It was fun, wasn't it, and so clever. I bought the book (it was my birthday after all) and I've been poring over it ever since, with all the exhibits beautifully photographed and documented.

    Bet you didn't have a phantom farter there like we did....... :/

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