Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Quiet corners

Alison Britton (image from here)
On Sunday we visited the V&A.  I wanted to see the Alison Britton display Content and Form, and the contemporary portraiture display Facing History
Grayson Perry (linocut, image from here)
Both were thought-provoking and enjoyable, and delightful (for us) in their unpopularity: they were two still areas amongst the general brouhaha.  Indeed the sixth floor housing the ceramics collection is such a rewarding area to visit for anyone who has the slightest attraction to pottery.  Once again we sighed with the longing for another lifetime to learn about such a fascinating craft.  
The whole museum is a vast black hole of tempting objects which delight the eye and pull on one's curiosity.  And, having been intrigued by Margaret Cooter's photographs, I was delighted to catch a glimpse of the disturbed cast room.


  1. This post struck two chords with me. Having come across and very much enjoyed Alison Britton's book, 'Seeing Things', it was as great pleasure to see this beautiful pot by her - in all its quirkiness. Then there were the two Grayson Perry linocut portraits of his parents which were a great surprise to me, having seen the exhibition of his tapestries in Bath recently. Thank you.

  2. Margaret, I think that the Grayson Perry linocuts are based on himself and his wife in historic style. (More info. here: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O242130/mr-and-mrs-perry-mr-print-perry-grayson/ )

    I am interested that the Perry prints were a great surprise to you, and would love to know why.

    1. The Perry prints were a surprise because of their simplicity, I think. So much of his work is choc full of complex and, at times, disturbing imagery. These seemed to have a simple purity about them - which is interesting now I know about their origin. Thank you for putting me right about that. I made the wrong assumption.

    2. You are right, Margaret, they do have a simplicity which is in contrast to a lot of his other work which can sometimes overwhelm its own content at first glance. He is indeed a fascinating artist.

    3. Extraordinary certainly ... have your read his biography, Grayson Perry 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl' by Wendy Jones? I found it fascinating, if at times without inhibition!

    4. I have not read that particular book, but have gathered lots of biographical information about Perry over the years.

  3. Was it chilly in the ceramics display? The last time we went there to draw, it was uncomfortably cold, and we're thinking of going to draw the Alison Britton pots, among others, soon. Perhaps it all depends on the weather! Glad to see it's on till 4 September - there should be some warmer weather before that - and that it includes 60 works, including new works. Really looking forward to seeing it.

    I stumbled across the contemporary portraits some time ago; very interesting, esp. as portraiture is "not my thing". Though I'd like a memory-jog on specific items, I'm resisting the urge to look back in my photo files and find the images, as that will lead to an hour's file clean-up. Will stop by again before it closes; there's still six weeks to go.

  4. I was wearing my winter coat up in ceramics, and not feeling too hot, so maybe it is cold up there. The Britton pots are lovely shapes to draw, especially if you include the painted surfaces. No-one at all came in while we spent ages looking and talking about them.

    The portraits were really thought-provoking - so many portraits contemporary yet in-the-style-of, and others of subjects in-the-guise-of. They did leave me wondering what is a contemporary portrait.