David Shrigley.

So I’ve been neglecting this module a little bit. Not by choice, I just feel like we’ve been packed with info from both sides and I instinctively jump for one thing. Anyway, after a session the other day I’m feeling (as) refreshed (as I can feel) and want to get stuck back in.

I was trying to find some inspiration again and thought why don’t I go back to basics and see what everyone else is doing.

I decided to look into David Shrigley because we were shown some of his work in the module induction. To be honest I had never heard of him but I loved his thinking, even though I found it quite unsettling. We were shown the picture shown underneath here. A shopping list is something that everyone knows to be throw away, you lose it practically before you get to the shop. It’s written on a scrap, an envelope, a post it, something that doesn’t really matter and it’s pretty disposable. But Shrigley has turned this on its head, and put something that’s very temporary onto something that’s very permanent. I find it quite unsettling because obviously a grave is associated with death, but a graveyard is somewhere that I find peaceful, and dare I say, an emotional place? I don’t know – everyone see’s them differently, but something you know so well to have an association and then to put a shopping list on it? My mind finds it almost hard to process. I think because of this it makes a strong impact on the audience, although I’m still not entirely sure what it’s supposed to be saying (unless it just is experimenting with making the temporary, permanent).


Shrigley seems to do a lot of quirky little cartoons like the one below, that are a bit rude at times – but I love them. The style of drawing makes them stand out, and I think as some people (I am in this category) can get hung up on drawings looking perfect, because obviously all drawings should look like photographs (not). I also love the kind of realism behind it. I can totally imagine ringing up a friend and saying I’m watching them on the tv, and if they were naked I would probably be questioning that to. But the cheekyness of it speaks to everyone. 39David Shrigley Shrigley often does unusual sculptures using the same kind of humour that I think he uses in his cartoons. Personally I read this sculpture in 2 ways. My initial thoughts was that of someone sticking their middle finger up, although then the face wouldn’t make sense.. but does it have to? Obviously my next thought was that it was a swan. I feel that it mocks the swan, because they’re seen as quite a regal creature, very graceful, poised and posed at all times. But this sculpture looks quite.. stumpy? I don’t think thats a word but I feel it describes the sculpture so. Anyway, that’s not normally a word associated with such a regal animal, and then the little face also goes with this, the blank expression makes me feel like the swan is just doesn’t seem to know what’s going on. The face also makes it look less intimidating and almost cute – another word not normally associated with a swan.

David Shrigley

Another sculpture that he is using the area and surroundings of the sculpture to mock what isn’t there.

Leisure Centre 1992 by David Shrigley born 1968

Just by using an everyday object that everyone is familiar with and once again turning it on it’s head it makes a large impact. Obviously, heroin and cocaine are lethal and illegal drugs and putting them in something used everyday points the finger at how often they are actually used I feel. I think it also reflects how we don’t really know the strength of the drugs and because society has almost become accustomed to drug and talk of them, it’s something rather everyday and mundane to us, which in itself is quite shocking.


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