Thursday, 2 February 2017

Keith Tyson exhibition at the Jerwood, plenty to look at

The latest exhibition at the Jerwood, Keith Tyson's 'Turn Back Now' started at the weekend.  Hastings Battleaxe made her obligatory visit. Here's what she thought. It might have actually provided an uncomfortable insight into my own motivation....

Keith Tyson Studio Drawings - a nice change from empty wall

More of the same
    My first thought: Oh good, masses to look at. The space is full. The walls of the big Foreshore Gallery are totally covered with his Studio Wall drawings, in fact there is so much material it would take several visits to view/read it all.
    Second thing, see photos above, you are allowed to take pictures of Tyson's stuff, which makes a blogger's life much easier.
     But what actually is it?  The closely packed images are a sort of visual diary, or as Tyson says 'a kind of emotional headline of the day'. The items are on a vast, random range of topics, some of them are stark graffiti-like agitproppy things, some are much more gentle, some are rude.
Yes. And....?
     Is it any good? How do I know?
     The man clearly has a very busy brain, but then so does Battleaxe, and at least I confine my grandiose ramblings to a low-profile weekly blog post.  It felt as if Tyson is bombarding us with all this stuff to show off the incredibly versatile, complex, hard-edged yet incredibly sensitive yada yada breadth of his amazing mind to us mere mortals. Keith, mate, I know - see this Battleaxe post. In hindsight, I'm not proud of this. But then, why do any artists produce art? Why do Battleaxes blog? Why do I try to write poems? 
    The other rooms were better. There is a large model of a circuit board, quite tactile and cheerful, but again, what is it about? Keith, if it is just for fun, why not add buttons to press and flashing lights like in the Science Museum?
Circuit board. Where are the buttons and lights?

I liked this....
    Then came this big shiny ball studded with bits of meteorite, with a big picture of the artist reflected in it, taking a photo on his phone. Battleaxe, also wishing to showcase her superior creative mind, naturally took this one step further...
Battleaxe versus Tyson
    Upstairs in the gallery they have done a nice rehang of some of the permanent collection. No photos allowed up here as usual, but good views from the window.
View from gallery window
    So who is Keith Tyson? I know he won the Turner Prize in 2002, and apparently he lives in Sussex. Let's do a bit of Googling. What else?  Oh look, his girlfriend is Elizabeth Murdoch. Oh look, here's an account of her Chipping Norton set New Year's Party.  Think Clarkson, Camerons, Osborne, Rebekah Brooks, Alex James.....
    Here are Keith and Elizabeth, pictured at dad Rupert's wedding to Jerry Hall.

    Phew, at least we are safe from these people in our tucked-away little Hastings backwater. Or are we? Anyone know anything they'd like to tell me?
    I also now see Battleaxe is not alone in her thoughts about the Studio Wall Drawings. See this review from the Independent!
     However, all in all, if you are the type of person that enjoy's reading other people's diaries, you'll be quite happy poring over Keith's stuff on a wet Hastings afternoon. It'll pass the time nicely.