Saturday, 28 June 2014

Fine artists as illustrators

The Bullfighter's Godmother - Paula Rego
Recently, a friend sent me a link to a rather interesting article by Andrew Graham Dixon about Paula Rego. It particularly interested me as he talks about fine artists as illustrators and how that is an insult to most. Not to Paula Rego of course whose work is strongly narrative. Have a read of the article here. Poacher's Pie


Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Walthamstow Tapestry














Feeling more than a little wiped out at the moment. Just emerged from a four-week Ofsted inspection of Children's Services which is probably one of the least fun things I can think of, and as a consequence, we are now four weeks behind on the end of year returns, four of which have to be in by the end of June (we've started one...). Throw in an office move last Friday... who knows what chaos awaits when I go to the new place on Monday.


So, I have data fatigue and was feeling somewhat in need of a change. What better way to shake this off than with a visit to Winchester Discovery Centre to see Grayson Perry's Walthamstow Tapestry; a mind-blowing 15 metres of intricately detailed images and text woven by Flemish weavers.


It's Perry's comment on consumerism bound up in a 'seven ages of man' narrative. The tapestry is peppered with household brand names which sit supposedly randomly in amongst the images. Every inch of the picture plane is used and is heavy with symbolism and his influences are evident: medieval and folk art and Sumatran fabric for instance. It has been likened to the Bayeux Tapestry.


Despite some of the macabre imagery, it's a very beautiful thing. The colour and texture and the drawings themselves are lovely and one could gaze at it for hours and still find new details to delight and ponder over. Perry is a consummate doodler with humour - I mean that as a compliment - and it took me back to my childhood and the hours I spent immersed in my collection of Richard Scarry books. Again, this is not to denigrate the downright genius of the Walthamstow Tapestry, but rather, is a comment about the visual impact the work has and its ability to hold the attention. I think it's wonderful. And I'm very pleased to have been able to see it as I found a newspaper article today stating that last month, it was sold to an art school in China. It will be in Winchester until 6 July so go see it.



 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Okay. I wasn't terribly happy with my last print, PB4. I was working on it for something ridiculous like five months and I'm still not satisfied with the image. Also I think my technique left something to be desired, so it's back to first principles with the next project. 

I'm working on an A3 plate for the first time, which has its own challenges, but it's back to portraits for the moment. This print is going to be all about technique so narrative won't be a distraction.