From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Giddy Over Grayson Perry (And Alan Measles)

with 2 comments

Last night I spent an evening in awe of Grayson Perry (and Alan Measles) at The British Museum. Titled ‘The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’ Grayson Perry curates his work alongside items he has selected from the museum (I was guilty of spending more time and attention on his pieces than the ancient relics from unknown craftsmen and for that I can only apologise). I’m no Simon Schama so instead of attempting an acerbic, witty art review below you’ll find some of Grayson Perry’s words of wisdom that I found fascinating, even reading them outside of the exhibition I’m utterly inspired and art giddy, I feel like I’ve found a modern-day prophet.

Before I pass you over to Grayson Perry however I must recount the hilarity caused when stood in front of his High Priestess Cape with best friend and fellow creative fuck-wit Jo when she said “Ah! I’ve only just noticed the embroidery is headless birds”. No Jo, they’re penises.

“Reality can be new as well as old, poetic as well as factual and funny as well as grim”

Cultural Conversations

“Few civilisations spring up spontaneously or develop in isolation. Cultures borrow and adapt. I enjoy artefacts where this give and take is more obvious and dissonant. New religions try to recruit by using sites and symbols of the belief system they are trying to replace. Craftsmen make artefacts they think will appeal to visitors from abroad. Sometimes they get it wrong in a charming way. Creativity is often just mistakes.”


“Part of my role as an artist is similar to that of a shaman or a witch doctor. I dress up, I tell stories, give things meaning and make them a bit more significant. Like religion this is not a rational process, I use my intuition. Sometimes our very human desire for meaning can get in the way of having a good experience of the world. Some people call this irrational unconscious experience spirituality. I don’t.”

Souvenirs of pilgrimage

“We all make journeys to see places or people that are significant to us. It is natural to want a keepsake of the trip to remind ourselves and show others. Pilgrims usually travel light so the souvenir may be only a badge, a photo or a signature.”

The man speaks sense. This exhibition is potentially the best I have ever seen, from a gigantic tapestry featuring modern day pilgrim sites (from Westfield, Ground Zero to Glastonbury) to his very own Rosetta Vase quipping “Nice Day Out” and the ever-present Alan Measles (at one point with a small flower perched at the end of his teddy bear willy).

You have a week left to visit art lovers, advance tickets are sold out but I believe 200 tickets are available per day from 9am. Honestly can’t recommend it enough. 

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Written by Anon PA

February 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] made a pilgrimage to the Grayson Perry exhibition, I blogged about it yesterday and you can read it here if you missed it. This article in The Guardian by the man himself is also worth a […]

  2. […] since I’ve lived in London. From Charles Dickens writing desk at the London Museum to Grayson Perry at The British […]

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