Monday, 24 August 2015

Sex and drugs and earthenware; Grayson Perry at the Turner Contemporary.


We had a good long look at The Turner Contemporary Art Gallery at Margate and it's not bad.
This is Carlos Amorales' 'We will see how everything reverberates'.

It's a series of cymbals (mainly Zildjian if you need to know) of different sizes.

"You are invited to play the cymbals using one of the mallets provided".

Except the gallery was a bit miserable about this - you were only allowed to do this at certain timed slots.


So, when we first came in, me and a guy with a 'Jamaica' T-Shirt's son and me - we had a go anyway.

It sounded good.

At 2-30pm we came back for a timed slot and found there were only two mallets.


And they didn't go very far.

So as my walking stick had a rubber tip......I couldn't hold myself back any more.

I even had the ability to hit the high ones.

I even got requests and yes it sounded really good.

This was the main attraction;

It was a full retrospective (with new work) by controversial artist Grayson Perry.

Except I don't think there's anything controversial about him.

He is a transvestite and as most of his work revolves around him and his life it's very much a part of any exhibition he does.

Hey, it's old news.

In passing I would just say that Robyn thinks he would look better as a man while I'm not so sure.

He's not afraid of being really trivial and he's certainly not afraid of dealing with the most serious possible issues.

Politics, sex, whatever.

Sadly, they didn't have any of the astounding series of pots he did about the consequences of being a victim of a paedophile attack.

But there were a lot of his pots;

Back in the 1980's when the 'Young British Artists' were showing that you could make conceptual art out of any old rubbish, Grayson was toiling away in Fine Art;

His pots are very fine art indeed - full of incredible detail and wit.

One of the highlights was watching a video in time lapse of all the immense amount of work that goes into these pots.

He is painstaking to the point of being irritating about it.

But they aren't 'pretty' pots; they deal with class and race and sex and well......everything.

It was at this stage that the gallery 'stopped' me taking photographs, which was a pain.

I could understand if it was a conservation issue but it isn't.

I'd understand if it was all about copyright - but they had a display of all the press reviews they have had and all the images the press have published which are all on the net.

So I had to lift 'The Map of Days' from one of those reviews;

It's a part of the most intricate series of imaginary maps and images, all drawn in the style of a medieval map maker except that the map is of a journey through the emotions - through a life.

Here's an extract which is very similar to 'The Map of Days' but I think it's from another work;

Of course 'No Photos' means I can't show you the bits I really liked but this bit made both of us laugh.

There was a final room - giant tapestries dealing with class differences and tastes;

These images were stolen while the attendants were otherwise occupied.

This one is just for me;

Sorry about stealing the images Grayson... I guess I'm just a 'Provincial Punk'....just like you.
It's astounding work - up there with David Hockney, Francis Bacon - the very best of British art.
Check out the Turner for the exhibition because it goes on tour in the next month or so.
Hey - I bought a badge and a postcard, it was that good.
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)


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