Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The ordinariness of January

I love January for its ordinariness - its everyday qualities.  After the excitement, busy pace and indulgence of December I relish the plainness of January.

First daffs of the year

The first daffs are in my glass vase above the fireplace, good meaty things are in the slow cooker, and I write and read as much as I can, immersing myself in imaginary worlds which contrast nicely with the ordinariness of life in January.

Yesterday morning I went to the British Museum to see the Grayson Perry exhibition, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman.  Visiting this exhibition is to enter into someone else's madly imaginary world.  Perry has created an exhibition celebrating the life of unknown craftsmen through the ages.  The exhibition has a great deal of Perry's work alongside objects from the British Museum's collection, arranged in themes to do with death and the afterlife such as pilgrimage, worship, magic and relics.  

There was so much humour and thoughtfulness in the way the objects were selected and displayed.  I wandered around with a big grin on my face, chuckling at the captions beside the items and the cartoon-like quality of the big, beautiful ceramic pots that Perry has made.  Everybody else in the exhibition was smiling too.  Have a look at the little 2 minute film on this page to hear from Perry himself about what he was aiming to do with the exhibition.  It exceeded my expectations, which were very high to begin with.

Grayson Perry's motorbike, with Alan Measles stand-in at the back

His beautiful pastel-pink custom made motorbike, which is on display just outside the exhibition, is anything but ordinary.  It dazzled the senses against the beautifully plain cream stone and clear glass of the rest of the museum's Great Court.

The Great Court roof at The British Museum

January - I love your ordinariness, and your calm.  But just a little bit of colour and jazz is very welcome too.


  1. Did you see the television programme about Perry and the pilgrimage he made on his pink bike with his bear? Brilliant man.

  2. I'm so pleased you enjoyed this exhibition. I keep recommending to everyone and am desperate to see it again before it closes.


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