Inspiration’s a funny thing. Sometimes it comes from an entirely tangible source while at other times it’s borne of a collection of inseparable things or experiences. That’s why my interest was sparked to attend a talk entitled: Turner Prize: Creative Inspiration?
The event, hosted at Glasgow’s Drygate brewery and organised through a collaboration between Creative Clyde, Interactive Scotland and the IPA, brought together Scotland’s creative industries to explore the theme of inspiration in relation to The Turner Prize.
Grayson Perry: This pot will reduce crime by 29%, © Marc Wathieu
Talks were followed with a panel discussion chaired by Tim Lindsay, a seasoned advertising guru and CEO of D&AD. His quick wit, depth of experience and insight made for interesting discussion. The panel comprised of Glasgow’s very own Frank Quitely (aka Vincent Deighan), a comic artist best known for his collaborations on New X-Men and Batman & Robin, and Glasgow School of Art Director, Professor Tom Inns.
Frank spoke in-depth about the reactions of artists (including the Turner set) to the world in which we live and how relevant this is to his work. He shared project examples, from album cover commissions and comic strips through to portraits – some clearly reflecting his actual state of mind at the time. It was a fascinating whirlwind tour into the brain of this hugely talented and established illustrative artist.
© Frank Quitely / Vincent Deighan
Professor Tom Inns was eloquent and fun in his thought-provoking talk. He had more questions for the audience to ponder than assertions of whether the Turner Prize provided creative inspiration or not. Yet, it was evident from his spiral of questions: - Could we pull together a family tree that somehow genetically links the winners? How do the judges actually compare entrants to select a winner? If the works truly are reflections of our times, how will we feel about them in the future? – that the Turner Prize and how it operates, at the very least, inspires deeper thought.
Controversial as it is, for my part, the fact that this annual exhibition gets people - from art historians to the chattering masses - talking is something to be celebrated. Isn’t the role of art to do just that? It’s how I discovered Grayson Perry, and what a wonderful discovery that was. Winning the Turner Prize catapulted him into the spotlight and a successful career within 18 months. He has gone on to become a great presenter giving genuine insight into British life, much in line with Quitely’s assertions. I’m not too keen on his dresses (the cut’s all wrong), but I think he has something authentic and valuable to say.
The Tramway is literally on my doorstep, so this weekend I’ll visit the Turner exhibition in person. Thus far I’ve read many a review and these, coupled with this week’s talk, have already inspired some great conversations and reflections on what the creative landscape at large brings to our everyday lives.