Thursday, 3 November 2011

Beyond the Atrium - Guest post by Tony Dell

Today I stood in front of one of the most famous illustrations in the world.  A meeting of western perspective and Japanese tradition.  I talk of The Wave that wonderful coloured woodcut by Hokusai which was drawnig about 1830 and which has captured the imagination of east and west. The British Museum has made a great deal of fuss about The Wave and has built a small exhibition around this one picture and it is absorbing.   

There is also an exhibition of Japanese manga which is their word for comics.  There are drawings by Hushimo Yakinoku for the comic character Professor Mujnakata and the edition of his mystery solving in The  British Museum.  A Japanese equivalent of Hercule Poirot!  The Professor is a very popular character in Japan and has appeared in a number of comics.  A book of the drawings is on sale at the Museum.

So much attention is paid to Grayhson Perry’s alter ego, the young girl with teddy bear, that it is possible to lose sight of the work for which he justifyably acclaimed in the creation of ceramics. While you are admiring The Wave you could visit the Grayson Perry ehibition of the pottery of unknown potters throughout time.

It is typical that he is exhibiting his collection of the work of othes and not his own. I don’t know if you saw it, but there was a brilliant documentary about Grayson the other night and his motorcycle ride acfoss Europe to a town in Germany which is paired with his home town. His observations belie the image he derliberately creates and explain why he has been a winner of The Turner Prize.
Here are some of his pots.

And the changing face of Grayson Perry.

Initially when he is dressed as a little girl with his friend Alan the teddy bear it is disconcerting but his lack of embaassment changes the situation and when you hear hs explanation for his cross dresssing it is clear that he is right to act as he does.  The acceptance by his wife makes it all seem perfectly natural.