I drove down to Oxford last Friday to see my piece on exhibit at the Bodliean.

So there it is,

I’m impressed that so much of it is on display – they could have rolled it up much more.

This is the winner, by Sue Dogget, an almanac of modern saints.

But for me I would have chose Paul JOhnson’s Serenade to Chaucer, which I thought was far more interesting

I forgot to Take a picture of Linnete’s tiny book (she was the only other entrant I actually knew, also shortlisted and displayed) but I also liked this board game, the creator of which I forgot to note,

THere was also a digital display of all the entries, including those not shortlisted. To be honest I found the digital display disappointing because it was just images and artists names, and it would have been far more interesting and illuminating if they’d bothered to include the artist statements. So much of modern art is about concept and ideas rather than execution, and many of the pieces, including some of the ones of display, lost most of thier meaning without the context provided by the statement, even for someone comparatively literate in the language of medeival imagery. Not including the statements in the boundless storage provided by the digital display just seemed bizarre.

~ by opusanglicanum on January 12, 2018.

10 Responses to “Bodleian”

  1. Oh wow – thanks for sharing your visit to the Exhibition. Great to see your work on show and nice to see that it has been sympathetically displayed. I agree about including the statements with all the entered pieces. Textile art, in particular, really benefits from some contextual information.

    I am so with you about Paul Johnson’s Serenade to Chaucer, a wonderful, fascinating, colourful contribution. However, to be honest I am not surprised it wasn’t chosen as the winner in these ‘restrained taste’ times. The winning piece of black and cream with the merest hint of colour fits with current craft aesthetic of textures and tones as opposed to colour (as most notably apparent with the 12 selected works for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize now at the V&A). Not sure what is wrong with colour, at least internationally acclaimed artists like Grayson Perry aren’t afraid to be colourful.

  2. That is fabulous – I would love to see the exhibition in the flesh. I just wish so much that Oxford wasn’t just that little bit too far to travel comfortably! I’m with you on the Chaucer piece and also on the lack of context when the artists’ statements are left out. I visited an exhibition last week where none of the fascinating textile art had any explanation at all, beyond a title and it stripped much of my enjoyment and understanding away. I couldn’t have a dialogue with the pieces because I could only guess the artist’s intentions.

    • I can do leeds to oxford in three hours if I get a good run, but when the traffics bad its awful.

      I think some needed the statements more than others (the boardgame had rules, which helped) but it would have been nice to know more about most of them.

  3. With you all the way, especially since it is so hard to write an artist’s statement – the least they could do is use the wretched things!

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