Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Artistic Awakening

If I were ever to come by £1million I should spend it on three things: a canal across my garden, a giant wheel of Stilton and a painting by Atkinson Grimshaw. My youthful bedroom was plastered with greetings card prints of Victorian paintings and a poster of Atkinson Grimshaw's Liverpool now hangs beside our kingsize. I have never, however, managed to make the clergy stipend stretch to an original work of art.

But recently I wandered past the masterpieces in the Tate Britain's art galleries. Among the Picassos, the Whistlers and the radiant visions of Turner were some startling contemporary wonders: an ironing board tethered to a twin-tub, for instance; an Ordnance Survey map of Dartmoor with a hand-drawn circle on it and a long, dangerously bent ladder.

On my return a revelation blinded me. I may only dream of possessing the Picassos, the Whistlers and the Turners, but my home is full of priceless artworks; I just never had the eyes to see them before.

Like this:

Barbara Hepworth: Three Forms (1935) © Tate, London 2012


The palliatives required for the Vicar's man flu
Or this:

Piero Manzoni: Artist's Shit (1961) Photo:© Tate, London 2012 



Treasure harvested from my kittens' litter tray. To think, TO THINK, I used to throw the stuff away! Now I know why our local dog walkers hang their knotted bags of proteins so reverently from trees. 

Or this:

Tracy Emin: 80%-20% Canada (1997) © Tate, London 2012

My directions to get myself and the Skoda to Potters Bar last weekend.

Or this:


Terry Atkinson: Map Not to Indicate (1967) © Tate, London 2012

Map of my local town pared of all detail save for my two most frequent haunts.

Or this: 



Barry Flanagan: Pile 3 '68' Photo:© Tate, London


The family towels




Or this: 


John Latham: Full Stop (1961) © Tate, London 2012


A section of the black mould sprouting along the sealant of my bath tub.

Do you have art works lurking in your home? Go check now! And I can thoroughly recommend trip to all the Tate galleries to help you see the world in a different way.

29 comments:

  1. Brilliant. I'm sure that pile of rubbish, sorry, installation in the corner must be worth a fortune.

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    1. Just check out your understairs cupboard! That precarious arrangement of contours is visionary.

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  2. That is priceless! Though not the bag of poo as I'm currently 'awash' in cat shit!

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  3. PMSL dahling, the only difference between your 'art' and theirs, is that they had the balls to chuck it in a gallery and announce it as a creative endeavour before anyone else muttered, 'Fuck me, is that just some shit in a pot?'

    Art is subjective. Discuss. (with gin)

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    1. Imagine what you could do with your unicorns. Pickle them in formaldehyde...

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  4. Oh how much did I laugh at the instructions to get to Potters Bar. Genius!

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    1. I'll lend them to you any time for navigation or display.

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  5. Damn. I have just spent 15 minutes making my bed (I know, but I am fussy about wrinkles) and now I realise that I've just destroyed a Tracy Emin-style artwork potentially worth thousands. I weel, I'll make another tonight.

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    1. Never mind. There's always your lav. After all Marcel Duchamp made his name from a urinal.

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  6. Come to think of it, John Latham's Full Stop looks like our plug hole after my wife's washed her hair...

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  7. This is brilliant - I laughed my way through it.

    I am now wondering which art works we are harbouring under our kitchen sofa.

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  8. Utterly brilliant and very clever. Yet again you've managed to crack a smile on the face of a very tired and increasingly grumpy-faced woman this evening (I'm on about myself, although there's every liklihood my mother will also have seen this - as you know you're her *favourite* blogger).

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    1. Now you've made me laugh! Go and check out your own art collection. It will cheer you up.

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  9. Excellent point brilliantly illustrated. I definitely have a few of those maps hanging around in my car - may be time for a new career..

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    1. I'd go for a one of those little white parking tickets if I were you. Maps have, like, so been done!

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  10. Hilarious! I love your take on it all. Puts a whole new perspective on moder art. We could all make a fortune from the "Art" lying around our homes!

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    1. The funny thing is, after a visit to a modern gallery you do see things differently for a while. Briefly my coiled hosepipe looked a sensation through my newly attuned eyes.

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  11. You can scribble anything, sign and date it, frame it and tell the world it's worth a fortunr. No one would dare contradict you for fear of being uncultured.

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    1. There's an exhibition of invisible art in London at the moment. Empty plinths, empty canvases, empty walls. And £8 admission!

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  12. You are an artistic genius and I'd pay good money for any of those creations. Except maybe the poo. I have my own supply.

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    1. Are you at the BiBs on Friday evening? I'll sell you some of them there.

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  13. This post is classic you and I love it. I am a subscriber and read everything but, as you know, have been really unwell of late, so not always managed to comment. You always write so beautifully and I can't see lepardskin anywhere without thinking of you! Your post about your daughter and her general anaesthetic brought me to tears because I had been terrified of mine only a couple of days beforehand and, had I thought of it being one of my boys, I would have been able to handle it better. You calmed me down in the aftermath anyhow. A very belated thank you X

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    1. I'm so very sorry that you have been so unwell. No wonder you were scared of the anaesthetic. I do hope you are recovering. And thanks for such a lovely generous comment.

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  14. what a great post! totally took me by surprise

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  15. This is so brilliant, I love it!

    I am going to be looking everywhere for art in my house now (I think I may have a recreation of your first piece actually).

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