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Day out visiting York: part 3 'Flesh' exhibition & Pyramid Gallery


After a lunch, where we nearly again forgot to pay, we went to see the other currently exhibition in the York Art Gallery called “Flesh”.

I wasn’t much prepared for what it was going to be about and would have never guessed the first art bit of artwork we encountered: a woman wearing nothing but an A4 of paper she was holding, a pair of black knickers and a purple strap-on dildo. However, beside her unusual get up she was very normal and we had a good chat with her.

The exhibition was a mix of different art spanning different epochs and kinds of medium curated around its theme flesh. With my current focus on my personal ceramic work there were few pieces of art of interest to me, such as:

Tattoo, 1998 by Edward Lipski

Initially this sculpture reminded me a bit reminded of my own ceramic work in that the shape was biomorphic and covered with detailed surface decoration. However, his work is a very significantly difference in style and scale. His sculpture is much more akin to the human shape. It’s size and the fact that it is covered in pigskin is much more challenging especially as this is tattooed. This torso-like sculpture crosses in its ambiguity the boundaries between animal and human and creates links between death and mutilation.

I am not sure I have got anything as strong to say through my ceramic shapes nor whether I really want to go to such a seemingly dark place.

Nud 4, 2009 by Sarah Lucas

What interests me in the sculpture is the boundary between fascination and repulsion. Because there is something familiar about its shape, even if you know consciously that it is just a stuffed pair of nylon tights it appeals to tendency to make a direct links to our selves by anthropomorphising it and as such it becomes repulsive, at least to me. My personal instinct when creating anthropomorphic shapes is to keep them safe and not wonder into the area of the grotesque. Is that not a bit cowardly? On the other hand, why should I go against my inner desire for harmony just to shock artificially?


As the Lotte Inch gallery was closed in between of exhibitions we decided to visit the Pyramid Gallery instead. Over two stories tucked into a narrow old building close to the York minster this gallery shows and sells an eclectic mix of glass, jewellery, paintings and ceramics.

Not everything was to my liking but there were a few pieces and artist we saw that would be of interest for people on our MA course, such as the sculptures of Peter Hayes. He heavily references the landscape in his pieces.

I was absolutely thrilled by the sculptures by Eoghan Bridge. This would normally not be my sort of thing but his ceramic horses and the relationship to the human figures really made me laugh out loud. Is it great art? I don’t know but it moved me, i.e. made me smile.

As a small memento, I bought a very small pot in the gallery. A small dish by Essex potter Richard Baxter. I like the matt simplicity and colour of glaze.

On the way home, Pam, my personal travel guide to good walks and food, left the A59 and took me home via the scenic on a smaller road between Harrogate and Skipton. With the most spectacular views dipped into the early evening light of what seemed the first proper day of spring really conjured up magical views of the golden slightly misty hills. It realised why I don’t base my art closely on nature: nature is just to gorgeous, beautiful, magnificent to be imitated successful. I would just try to chase a sense of perfection and feel I’d always fall short of it.

Anyway, this day today wasn’t short of being a perfect day out. Thanks.

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