Love is Enough

Review

Craftspace Apprentice Sarah gives This Is It! her opinion on the Love Is Enough Exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. If you want to share you view (good or bad!) on a show, exhibition or play you’ve been to contact Izzy to get involved.

 

Curated by Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller, Love is Enough brings together his two greatest artistic influences – William Morris and Andy Warhol.

It was my first week at Craftspace and if I wasn’t sure this was my dream job the private viewing invitation on the staff noticed board confirmed it. Untagging the invite from the wall my mind whirled through the list of friends I could bring. Settling on one who I knew would be equally as excited, I RSVP’d and waited for the date to roll around.

My last memory of the venue was my visit during my Arts Award Gold. The latest curation however greatly differed from the Home of Metal expose I had seen. As we walked into the building we were taken away by the oversized renaissance paintings and fell in love with the high ceilings full of art.

the Morris inspired wallpaper that contrasted the pieces beautifully making the work delicious to look at.

After taking a complementary drink and listening to a few thank you speeches we made our way down to the Glass Hall exhibition space.

William Morris

Wallpaper design – Acanthus, William Morris,

Love is Enough had original been exhibited in the Modern Art Gallery in Oxford and slightly differed when debuted in Birmingham’s Art Gallery. This was due to added elements such as the Morris inspired wallpaper that contrasted the pieces beautifully making the work delicious to look at.

While my excitement for this exhibition came at getting to see the works of the infamous Andy Warhol, I must admit that Morris stole my focus.

On our entrance we were greeted by a Warhol silk screen that depicted the face of Joan Collins, right next to her was an androgynous women, her strong jawline and chiselled features caused a blurred line between the handsome and beautiful. The curation that placed an old and new beauty side by side did not go unmissed. It was interesting to see an artistic commentary on the changing trend of physical beauty throughout the years.

While my excitement for this exhibition came at getting to see the works of the infamous Andy Warhol, I must admit that Morris stole my focus. His magnificent tapestries and vivid wallpaper became my highlight of the show.

While these tapestries were over 100 years old, no thread was out of place, each colour vivid and hypnotizing.

Within the exhibition four out of the six original tapestries shown depicted the legend of the Holy Grail, also known as King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.  The pieces were commissioned by William Knox D’Arcy in 1890 for his dining room at Stanmore Hall.  While these tapestries were over 100 years old, no thread was out of place, each colour vivid and hypnotizing. With a precision to detail that I had never seen before, it was the greatest example of Craft as Fine Art.

My favourite of the tapestries was the illustration of the blue winged angel. The warmth of the blues gave it such depth that the wings became filled with a powerful yet graceful air.

Love is Enough - Quest for the Holy Grail Tapestries

Quest for the Holy Grail Tapestries – Panel 3

While Jeremy Deller insisted the exhibit held no link with Morris’ poem ‘Love is Enough’ (which inspired the name of the exhibition), I tend to disagree. Take a look at the passion and fascination illustrated by the knights on their quest or even society’s love of Marilyn. Both these loves run parallel with the theme of enduring love held within Morris’ poem, causing a final complimentary element to an amazing exhibition.


 

Love is Enough is on until the 6th September at the Birmingham Museum and Gallery. For more information see their website HERE. Have a look at more of Sarah’s work on her blog crafts little helper or through her This Is Us profile.