Thursday, 21 June 2012
A Sunny Day out in London
A lovely sunny day out in London on Tuesday with friends from Solihull College BA Fine Art course. This shot of the facade of Sea Containers House at Blackfriars Bridge was taken en route to the Tate Modern to see the Damien Hirst exhibition containing some of his most iconic works such as the diamond studded skull, the Spot Paintings and his series of preserved animals in formaldehyde. In Mother and Child Divided, a cow and a calf have been sliced in half to show the flesh, organs and skeletal structure and in The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living a shark which appears to move due to the refraction in the glass vitrine.
The life cycle is a theme that threads through the exhibition juxtapositioning the horror of seeing flies feasting on the bloody servered head of a cow, with the beauty and fragility of a room full of live butterflies. With all the publicity and hype that Damien Hirst attracts I was quite prepared to scorn his art but I couldn't fail to be impressed. Sorry no photos were allowed.
On next to see Doris Salcedo at the White Cube. Colombian artist Salcedco is well known for her politically engaged work. In the ground floor gallery A Flor de Piel is an enormous shroud made up of thousands of rose petals sewn together in a suspended state - neither fresh nor withered - almost resembling skin. Plegaria Muda in the lower ground gallery is a major installation consisting of tables that have been placed on top of each other but divided by a huge slab of earth. On the underside of the uppermost table surface delicate shoots of green grass have sprouted through the wood. Each sculpture is the size of a standard coffin and represents the bodies of 1,500 young men found in Colombia who were lured from their families with the offer of a job in the army, but were then murdered with their families falsely told they were killed in combat. No photos again.
Lastly onto the Victoria Miro Gallery and The Vanity of Small Differences an exhibition by one of my favourite contemporary artists, Grayson Perry. If you have been following his fascinating series on class and taste on Channel 4, All in the Best Possible Taste you will have seen the inspiration behind his tapestries exhibited here in all their colour and glory. The tapestries are his wry comment on class mobility, literally weaving a narrative partly inspired by Hogarth's A Rake's Progress. I was free to take photos but not allowed to publish them on my blog, so no pics again I'm afraid.
With Perry, it's all in the tiny details and In The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal representing the tastes of the Middle Class, there are references to Cath Kidston, Range Rovers, cupcakes, Penguin Classic mugs, local and organically grown fruit and veg, Agas, Le Creuset, cafetieres and stove-top coffee pots. Hilarious! I think everyone would recognise something of themselves in this one.
Before catching the train home, an Italian meal at Bella Italia - something Grayson Perry might have a chortle about.