On Sunday I finally made it to see The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman at the British Museum. This absolute gem of an exhibition is curated by Grayson Perry, and shows objects from many countries across the ages alongside beautifully crafted pieces both by, and commissioned by him. Alan Measles, God of the imaginary world of the artist, was present throughout.
As ever, I was blown away by the aesthetics of Perry’s work, and these were also apparent in the objects he had chosen to exhibit curated within themes such as shrines, magick, souvenirs of pilgrimage and scary figures. There was no kitsch without beauty, and no object which did not bear the mark of its maker’s hand. Here is a short video.
Aside from the visual refreshment received from this visit, it has returned my thoughts to the subject of things made with love. Often favourite possessions are not those which are expensive or sought after, but those which have the touch of the maker and are unique, albeit in small ways. I am reminded of the the Craftivist Collective and the Craftivism movement, and the Arts and Crafts practitioners before them, whose handiwork makes statements with beauty and love.
During the current era of cutbacks and uncertainties it is good to remember the difference between cost and value. That which is unique and is made with love will make your heart sing far more than an object of conspicuous consumption.