It's Turner Prize time and the exhibits that have been shortlisted are making appearances. I wasn't that impressed with the buttocks but the suit made from bricks was a decent effort. In fact I am a traditionalist so some of the things that are described as art would probably be in the bin if it was down to me but then I'm a Philistine. However, I do appreciate people who test the boundaries of conventionalism and have been recently interested by what Grayson Perry has been saying.
Grayson Perry is known for his ceramics and cross-dressing, but there is much more to the man than that.
Tchaikovsky moves him to tears and I can understand why. He is rather neglected as a musical master but produced music ranging from the gentle and moving to the powerful and strident. I love his work.
Teddy bear is closest to his heart. Mine sits on the sofa with me and is 65 years old.
Grayson is a fan of the work of Pieter Breugel - I had a Breugel print on the wall in my first house.
He's fascinated by everyday things we take for granted and particularly enjoys post war history.
Philip Glass - he is a huge fan, I'm not!
Outsider - he relishes being on the outside and I guess that is one of the reasons he cross dresses. I can see the release one gets from stepping away from norms. I think that is part of the 'writer' thing.
Heaven is a normal day. I can go with this as well. Setting a task for the day and working it through is great.
In fact Perry has been married since 1992 and has a child so some of his life people would say is 'normal' but I think he keeps testing the boundaries. He also has an interesting take on taste.
His ideas om taste are linked with the supposedly defunct class system, which I believe is alive and well, and fashion for all manner of things. Perry talks about how we 'manage' class and fashion.
The British care about taste because it is inextricably woven into our system of social class. I think that – more than any other factor, more than age, race, religion or sexuality – one’s social class determines one’s taste. The anthropologist Kate Fox, in her book Watching the English (2004), observes that, even amid the homogenised dress codes of youth, class plays a part. A middle-class teenager may still wear a hoodie but it will be a more cotton-rich brand, or they will sport a toned-down version of the fashionable haircut, such is the pervasiveness of bourgeois regard for authenticity and restraint.
The paragraph above sums up his view and I agree. However, there is a negative side. The class system has built in controls which are tacitly supported by the nodding dog, apathetic members. This leads to situations where, and I use an often used phrase of my father's,
'its not what you know but who you know'
It is my belief that this is the case in writing, publishing and literary awards. If you are unknown in some circles they will never look at what you produce and so I believe there are some gems out there being produced by 'ordinary' people that may well never be discovered.