16 Nov Grayson Perry ‘Smash Hits’ exhibition
Yesterday I finally made it to see Grayson Perry’s exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, ‘Smash Hits’.
Perry is an artist that I’ve admired for years – his work and approach to art is very much celebrated in my portfolio preparation course and my own ethos around creativity.
The project that students study around Identity is informed by videos and texts from many artists, Grayson Perry included, from his series on masculinity.
For me it’s not the visual aesthetic of the work that draws me so much as the curiosity, observation, honesty, significance and commentary on life experience. The skill and attention to detail, wit and humour is remarkable.
However, the media reviews have been very mixed and mine surprised me too.
Don’t get me wrong, the works ARE amazing.
However, my own observations during my visit to the exhibition were mainly, it’s SO busy. WAY too busy. And if I’m honest totally spoilt my enjoyment of the work.
I also found it quite odd that whilst the app with audio commentary from Grayson Perry was enabling a deeper understanding of the works, everyone was ‘on their phone’ either looking at it or listening to it as if on the phone.
Ironic given some of themes Grayson Perry explores around social media, social behaviour etc.
I personally think this prevents the viewer from engaging in their own experience so much, interpretation is given to them on a plate.
Everywhere I turned I was bumping into people or obscuring other people’s views, apologising etc.
Therefore I didn’t engage in the work as much as I would have liked to.
There was too much to take in and too little space, both physical and mental, to process it.
I didn’t listen to the audio in the gallery.
I’m sitting at home today in my studio with my coffee, some time, space and quiet to listen to the audio and read his catalogue.
If I’m honest, what makes me a raving fan of Grayson Perry was his series of Art Club during Lockdown.
Because it epitomised what I loved about Lockdown – what I felt I needed/what society needed, was to slow down, quietly observe, reflect, some peace and quiet.
To stop the rushing and doing and ultimately to focus on just one thing at a time.
I’d like to visit ‘Smash Hits’ on my own before it finishes!
Getting out and actually seeing art in galleries and public spaces is essential for your UCAS statement also for your full appreciation of the artists work.
Find out more about what’s expected of you in your application on my PLAN CREATE SUCCEED portfolio preparation course
This article was written by Julie Read, a leading educator in the Creative Industries, as featured in The Guardian newspaper, on a mission to create a legacy to ‘unlock your creative genius’.
My passion and mission is your art portfolio, to help to get you that place at college or university.
CLARITY, in particular around the creative process, sketchbooks, and what the Colleges actually want to see are the founding principles.