Visited the Victoria Miro gallery this weekend to see Grayson Perry's recent tapestries. The gallery is in an amazing conversion of an old shoe factory between Islington and the city. A really fab space to roam around with a hidden garden right in the centre of an urban neighbourhood.
I'd watched Channel 4's three programmes 'All in the Best Possible Taste', with Grayson Perry's look at Britain's taste and class and the tapestries emerged alongside the series. AA Gill, the Sunday Times journalist summed it up well "On camera Perry is able to organise complex and abstract thoughts, and explain them with an unpatrician clarity, without art snobbery." It was really illuminating and fun telly particularly Perry asking his hosts' opinions on what dress to wear to fit in with their clan!
Grayson Perry says "The tapestries tell the story of class mobility, for I think nothing has as strong an influence on our aesthetic taste as the social class in which we grow up. I am interested in the politics of consumerism and the history of popular design but for this project I focus on the emotional investment we make in the things we choose to live with, wear, eat, read or drive. " The artist's primary inspiration was William Hogarth's 'A Rake's Progress.
Each programme ended with Perry with the digital weavers in Belgium, looking at the finished result. This sequence lasting just 5 minutes, linked with Perry at his computer producing the work. Perry probably works fast and doesn't seem to suffer from any artists block or self doubt, but I felt it undervalued the process. After all, it's digital! Just push the button and you've got the product spewing out at the other end!
So I was interested to see the final results and how much textural details had been achieved.
2m x 6m - six of them!
Colourful, bursting with detail...almost too much to take in.
A bit overwhelmed, I started to focus in on the drawing style of the dogs, which I particularly liked, so here are my favourite pics which show some of the weaving detail nicely.
and rather sadly, the dead dog in the final tapestry.....
They're on show until 11 August.