Thursday, 18 November 2010


Moon attend two fantastic exhibitions this week...

High Society explores drug use throughout the ages.. the opium trade.. the acid crazed 60's..  raves.. modern crack dens... It explores the attitudes towards drugs, from the dark stigma they have aquired in Western society to villages in south America where Awaska is used in a ritualistic setting.

It was my second visit to Museum of Everything, tucked away in Primrose Hill- this time it houses the collection of amazing oddities aquired by Peter Blake (of Sgnt Peppers Lonley Hearts Club album art fame). 
The Museum of Everything is one of the best institutions I have ever been to (a number of the artists who contribute work to the exhibitions are likely to be found in a different sort of institution) as it exhibits only the work of creators classifed as 'outsider artists', artists who have had little or no formal training in art and who produce (or at least began by producing art without regard to the mainstream art world's recognition or marketplace. There is definatley a creepy circus them going on this time.. midgets.. bearded ladies.. punch and judies etc.  

Peter Blake collects things covered in shells.. shell kittens, puppies, people, boxes... reminded me of the local seaside artist in the 'Old Greg' episode of The Mighty Boosh who even shelled his wife.
Some of my faveorite works were tapestries created by Ted Willcox ' a rear gunner in the Second World War’ (Blake says), ‘who was shot down and injured rather badly. He was taught embroidery as a therapy. He started off by doing a portrait of the Queen. Then he did a ballet dancer, and then he went in for these pin-up girls from the Fifties with wonderfully inventive backgrounds, scallops of colour and so on'. Oh I loved his works so so much! Ted also invented his own language... wish i could find more images...
Blakes collection also includes a large variety of creations by Walter Potter, a self-taught Victorian craftsman and taxidermist who constructed woodland dioaramas and kitten tea parties. One of the most incredible scenes was  "The Original Death and Burial of Cock Robin". Inspired by a book of stories belonging to his younger sister, Potter created his most well known tableaux at the age of 19 and used 98 stuffed birds... Within the large glass case was displayed the sorrowful funeral procession of Cock Robin together with the Sparrow who killed him with his bow and arrow,  and the Owl who dug the grave, accompanied by the mourners, all of whom made their way through the graveyard.
 Below are images of Potter's work, some shown at the exhibition and others found online. I would've loved to have taken photos of 'Everything' but there was a sign saying 'Photos= £1000' fine- not sure if they were taking the piss but I didn't want to risk it. The Museum of Everything gives me weeks of inspriation fuel everyone should go check it out... 
Postcard for 'Potters Museum'  which used to display Potters work in Sussex. 

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