Love it: More Exhibition Adventures

H has been a culture vulture this week!  I managed to fit in two museum visits which is always a bonus as far as I am concerned!

So first up was the Tate Modern!  I wanted to go see the Yayoi Kusama exhibition which I have heard so much about.  The leaflet says 'she is perhaps Japan's best-known living artist.  Since the 1940s she has worked obsessively, developing an extensive body of work that encompasses painting, sculpture, drawing and collage as well as the immersive large-scale installations for which she is best known.'

As usual there are no photographs allowed in the exhibition, so you will have to go and see it yourselves to know what I am truly talking about.  There were a large amount of painting, some of my favourites were with thousands of dots all over the canvas/paper.  Due to the constraints of money and availability, some of her work used acrylic paints and sand as well as thousands of the airmail stickers that had come on her families letters from Japan to her then residence in New York.

Yayoi became well known for her performative experimentation, encouraging people to paint polka dots on each others naked bodies.  This after all was the sixties and seventies and free-love and hippie culture was thriving.  Film-makers picked up on her work and it was known for body paintings and orgys to happen in the her installation environment.

She was influential in the 1960s and 1970s with the New York avant-garde, yet when she returned to Japan she found it tough to readjust and admitted herself to a hospital that has remained her home to the present day.  She has continued to work and now works in a studio opposite the hospital she lives in, mainly working on drawings and paintings.

I loved her polka dot work, well I would, I am a little obsessed with dots at the moment, they are everywhere, Fashion, Interiors, Jewellery, so why not love them.  I particularly loved the entrance way to the exhibition with polka dot balloons as seen above.

So what to do with a day at Waterloo!

I took myself off to the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank to have a look at the David Shrigley exhibition.  You may have seen the posters of a stuffed dog holding a 'I'm Dead' sign.  To get to this exhibition however I first had to walk through an exhibition by Jeremy Deller who is a Turner-Prize winner.  He classes himself as a conceptual artist and mainly uses his interest in people and their relationships to each other.  There were banners and newspapers, along with Valerie's Cafe which was giving away free Tea!  always good.  There was a whole area devoted to the coal miners strikes of the 80's, which was really interesting, using a timeline and newspaper articles to show what was happening at that time was great to see, especially as I was very young at that time and so did not really know fully what was going on.  Plenty of films to watch also, one even in 3D!  Then I saw some embossing machines and so had to have a go, see below, what do you think?

So then I got to walk up the stairs and open the 'Don't Linger at the Gate' Gate into the David Shrigley exhibition.  Most people will know his work from the greeting cards he has done in many a good card shop, but it was great to see more of his work, from animations to posters and a big old cup to tea, with actual tea!  And of course the stuffed dog!  I think its definitely worth a visit as it brings the fun back into art, sometimes that's just what we need!

Live it