I have highlighted the artist Grayson Perry as part of my research due to his fantastic pottery work. The work I am observing is his pottery work due to the designs he applies to them. From a distance they could pass for a casual decorative piece however on closer inspection you may see more than you bargained for.
In his ceramics he sticks with traditional forms such as standing vases reminiscent of Greek amphora; he claims to like lulling people into a feeling of security with forms they think they recognize and with expectations of reassuring patterns – flowers or a simple landscape – and then hitting them over the head with his intricately drawn decorations full of wit, puns, historical references and social comment.
I’ve chosen ‘Aspects of Myself‘ as my favourite ceramic piece by him, the vase has a patchy yellow and gold glaze to it with outlines of characters varying sizes scratched into it. Each figure stands or sits alone and looks out at the viewer, and some of these characters appear in ordinary poses in everyday settings – for instance, a teenage boy holds a bunch of flowers and a man rides a motorcycle – while others are of a more sinister nature, such as the bound and gagged woman shown towards the bottom of one side of the vase. Even in the background of these figures you can spot images of houses shaped like penis’, whilst on display in an environment such as a gallery, the irregular shape of the vase is more noticable because of the bright yellow and gold glaze used.
I love this piece, I love the way Grayson has tricked the mind when looking at a distance to reveal such obscenities and topics when it is viewed up close. I’ll be looking to capture this level of thought when I come to make my own products, it ties in nicely with the notion of hidden messages and meaning, especially when you take a closer look. It also presents a really clever culture clash, I can just imagine it being sat in someones living room and until someone sat next to it they wouldn’t even spot the obscene images planted all over it.
You can view more of Graysons work here: http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/grayson_perry.htm