Difficult Background – Grayson Perry

Fig. 1. Perry, Grayson. “Difficult Background” (2001) – two views

Fig. 2. My sketches – Top left sketch of a girl, top right sketch of a boy, below are some observations about the pot

Introduction

The Brighton Museum and Gallery has a Grayson Perry pot, Difficult Background (2001), on permanent display.

I wish to discuss it for two reasons. Firstly, I like Grayson Perry’s work in general and this pot in particular. Secondly, I was struck with how the pot was described.

The pot is in its own cabinet and sits in a corner. It is, however, on a revolving plate which allows all aspects of the pot to be seen. On both of my recent visits to look at it, however, the revolving plate wasn’t working. This had the effect of hiding about one fifth of it.

The cabinet carries a description of the pot. It says:

“Difficult Background, 2001, appears to refer nostalgically to childhood, with figures of children playing, dressed in 1950s-style clothes. However, a closer look reveals scrawled images of terror and war: burning buildings, blasted trees, naked figures running screaming from others carrying rifles. A girl presents an apple to a boy over a fallen signpost labelled ‘lost innocence’. Perry thus makes a powerful statement about the atrocities of conflict.”

I would agree with all of that but I was surprised that the description did not pick up on another aspect of the work. I will, therefore, discuss the piece in a little more detail and then return to the above description and consider other interpretations.

Continue reading “Difficult Background – Grayson Perry”

Damien Hirst and ‘nature morte’ (Project 1: Arts and Ideas – Exercise 5)

Part 1

Find two examples of still life work which includes fish and in each case note the title, artist and date. Make a quick sketch of both pieces.

I decided to choose two pieces that were quite different. The first was a Picasso and the second by William Merritt Chase. It is no exaggeration to say that I have not tried to draw properly for decades. I tried to experiment a little in each sketch. In the first there are areas of colour and so I decided to use coloured pencils.

In the second,the artist’s emphasis was on realism so I used normal drawing pencils but instead tried using both hard and relatively soft ones.

Drawing 1 – Based on Picasso’s Still Life with Fish (1923)

P1 Ex 5 - picasso

Drawing 2 – Based on William Merritt Chase’s  Still Life with Fish (Date unknown)

P1 Ex 5 - w m chase
Continue reading “Damien Hirst and ‘nature morte’ (Project 1: Arts and Ideas – Exercise 5)”