Grayson Perry & Alison Watt

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Anyone who follows my Facebook page knows I’m a huge Grayson Perry fan. I was delighted to get the opportunity to see ‘Julie Copes Grand Tour’ which is described as ‘The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry’ at Abbot Hall Art Gallery yesterday. (Abbot Hall is in the North West of England).

Julie Cope is a fictional character created by Perry and the exhibition comprises of two tapestries and an audio recording of Perry narrating a 3000 word written piece called ‘The Ballard of Julie Cope’. Being surrounded by these tapestries and Perrys voice created a completely immersive experience. The ballard was displayed with certain phrases in bold, and you can find these sections of the ballard depicted in the tapestries – like an artistic treasure hunt. The ordinary events in Julie Copes fictional life create a social history that we can all relate to. In Perry’s words, ‘the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of an average life’.

If that wasn’t enough of a treat, there was also an exhibition by the artist Alison Watt.

Although a portrait painter in her early career, and winner of the coveted National Portrait Galleries annual award, Watt is now focussed on still life painting and the exhibition shows her drappery, folded paper and wires – all white still life subjects on a white background.

“All you know for sure is how painting makes you feel inside and that can be incredibly powerful” Alison Watt.

In a cabinet which displayed historical influences, I was interested to see that she uses a grid to scale up. There are lots of grid drawings on The Arty Teacher for Art Teachers! There is also a great video of Alison Watt talking about this exhibition here.

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