Ever wondered what that satirical kid in the back of the classroom, drawing those hilariously perfect cartoons about the teacher is doing? He’s most probably exhibiting at a major gallery like David Shrigley.
A graduate of the prestigious Glasgow School of Art, Shrigley has gone on to have a full career of depicting hilarious, satirical, and always completely true images of life as we know it. Exhibiting a culmination of film, drawing, sculpture and paintings, David Shrigley presents his Exhibition Life and Life Drawing this Summer at the NGV.
We caught up with Shrigley at the opening, and spoke about the exhibition, his inspirations, and his amazing sculptures.
What are your main inspirations for your artworks?
I write a list of what to draw. The starting point is the hardest point of creating an artwork I think; but when you have a starting point, the work makes itself, so a lot of the time when I’m making drawings I’ll write a random list and look through magazines and find pictures and statements, and write a list of 30 things I want to draw and go from there.
When you were creating art at Uni, did you always have same style?
Yeah. I mean I didn’t really make drawing as my art practice, it was something I was quite coy about. I didn’t realise I was allowed to make drawings as art, at least not the funny drawings anyway. sSo I made sculptures, photography and public art, and when I left I didn’t have the means to do it so I just made drawings. But the works still had the same sensibility as what I do now. The sketchbooks I make now are the same sketches as what I made when I was 6; it’s just something I always liked doing.
Is ‘Life Model’ modelled on your own experiences within drawing classes?
Sort of. Live drawing class is the touchstone of Art school. At school you’re not allowed to see naked people, and as soon as you arrive at art school your 18 and suddenly there’s some naked hippy you have to draw.
How does ‘Live Model’s’ urinating and blinking mechanisms work?
The water is pumped up from a mechanism found in a window washer of a car through the bucket and back into the body. The eyes mechanism is also from a window wiper. All stuff for cars are really reliable, as they never break.
Is this exhibition where you are now: or a culmination of many years work?
I’d say this exhibition is pretty much where I am now. I made the majority of the work in the last 2 years, so they’re quite new.
Your beginning middle and end work (a large clay sausage that entangles around the exhibition space) appears to be almost like intestines. What is it meant to represent?
What it is open for discussion.
What is your favourite piece within the exhibition?
I think the works you’ve made most recently are the ones you’re most fond of, the life model is two years old now, next door is 6 months old, and the snake I first created 5 years ago, and this is the first time showing the robot, but this guy [the life model] I still have an affection for. And I never get sick of him, as there are always new drawings that surround him, so I’m not ever looking at him, but at the drawings that surround it. [Looking at the images,] It makes me want to make drawings in pastel crayons.
David Shrigley’s Life and Life Drawing Exhibition is running from the 14th November 2014 – 1st March 2015 at the NGV. Tickets are free.