Did anybody see the BBC Antiques Roadshow last weekend? Some linocuts were brought in; they had been printed by a maiden aunt whose interests were cats and ornithology (the owner thought), but it turned out she was one of the prime movers in the Grosvenor School, called Ursula Fookes and her work was worth a fortune now as it was right back in fashion – very ’30s, very futurist/art deco. The most extraordinary thing was that it was as if this old lady had had a secret life that nobody knew about. How could that piece of information have got so lost in one generation?
Helen-Pakeman-Still-Life after Morandi
My blog has taken a bit of a powder lately as my sister has not been at all well and i dont seem to have had any space in my head for much else. I have been doing a bit of work and it has been mostly very contained still life after the style of Morandi but done in linocut. I will attach one just to give an idea, but definitely a work in progress. When you are very ill, your life shrinks to a smaller and smaller circle; first it drops to your home, then to your room, then to your bed and accepting that restriction graciously requires great courage – especially if your sphere of influence was global. Morandi painted domestic still lifes of very humble bottles and pots over and over again which have a curious contentment and stillness about them – as if everything he needs to say can be contained within those everyday items, so there are some very clear parallels for me. Some of his work is held at the Estorick Gallery in London and is definitely worth a visit. I have an exhibition coming up for Artsweek so hope to pull these together in time to put some Still Life work into that, if i can.
PS I didnt get selected for Art in Action this year. As it turns out, thank goodness i didnt because i would have been in full panic by now! Try again next year, when life will be a little more straightforward.
Grayson Perry’s exhibition at the British Museum was a must-see. I wonder how many people were put off by the outrageous exhibitionism of the artist which is a shame because he is articulate, intelligent and very accessible. It is such a wondrous and enviable idea: to be let loose in the British Museum Archive; to rootle around in their drawers and dusty cabinets (ok it may not be quite like that). Perry’s choices are wonderfully personal and they bring these artifacts to life by anchoring them to the people who made/used them so long ago. Another surprise was that I thought I would be able to pick out what was Grayson Perry, and what was antique but I often couldn’t, so cleverly did he involve himself with the curiousities. With Perry it is always about the detail; on his pots the beauty of the shapes and colours draw you in, but the detail keeps you looking. And this whole exhibition was just the same. And you just keep on chuckling. Well done the British Museum to put on such a knowing and quite brave exhibition. More like that please.