Monday, 24 May 2010

Grayson Perry

I saw Grayson Perry's show "The Walthamstow Tapestry" at the Victoria Miro gallery, it was fantastic. Immediately when entering the room you are struck with the presence of the awesome tapestry of monumental scale which dwarves everything else. The piece just oozes quality and attention to detail which makes it very easy to get lost in its many minor elements. I found myself studdying it for ages, first from a far, then up really close, both have a different charm. The tapestry was a woven statement on the consumerist society in which we live
It chronicles the birth life and death of the modern day consumer and the vast array of brands and and companies which they will use and associate with throughout their life. For me it conjured up many similarities with the Bayeux tapestry, from the line and figure style to the epic stretching narrative which trails its way through numerous sub scenes and little distractions. This was an interesting idea and really made me think, well, why was the medium of tapestry chosen to depict the scene, why not a painting or drawing. to be quite honest it must have been one of the first contemporary art exhibitions I'd been to which featured a full wall length tapestry and china vases depicting rather grotesque women and astronaughts riding motorbikes. But i enjoyed it a lot, it was different.

Another piece i particularly liked from the show was a panoramic scene created with three large etchings which linked up together. The scene showed an intensely detailed and meticulous landscape, in which there were civilisations acting out what appear to be scenes from history and life. There are settlers landing, people growing food, building being built, war torn cities and battlefields which all blend seamlessly in with each other. Interestingly each group of people have miniature labels which name that group as "scientists" "perverts" "fitness fanatics" "Satanists" "cool people" "professionals" and the list goes on. This adds another dimension to the work in that there is usually a humorous juxtaposition between what the group is doing and what their label is. Its is a genuinely beautiful piece, I think my favourite from the show and one you could in all seriousness spend hours studying, which given more time I would have loved to do.

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