Exclusive: David Shrigley tells us about his latest exhibition

Earlier this week, I met up with David Shrigley to discuss his forthcoming exhibition HOW ARE YOU FEELING? at the Cornerhouse in Manchester. The exhibition opens with a preview this Friday, 5 October, at Cornerhouse from 6pm.

David Shrigley. Being Indoors (2012). Ink on paper. 21 x 29 cm. Copyright and courtesy the artist.

When I asked David to describe his latest show, he gave us a candid ‘tour’ of what to expect:

‘The exhibition is called ‘HOW ARE YOU FEELING?’ and it is the first exhibition that I’ve made – probably the first exhibition I’ve made – that is interactive in that the audience can participate with a lot of the works. The sort of rationale behind the exhibition is that the artwork constitutes some kind of therapeutic value. Exactly what nature that therapy amounts to is open to debate. I’m hoping that people will have a nice time in the exhibition.

There’s one animation that I’ve made which I suppose isn’t really interactive. There’s one film that’s sort of about art – *distracted by an espresso* – about how art makes the world a better place, sort of. That’s not really an interactive piece, it’s just an animated film.

There’s a peep board, which is one of those things that you might find on the pier at the seaside, where you put your head through a hole and you become part of a painting, a vignette. Throughout the exhibition there are various small napping stations, which are little beds, like little day beds, where you can have a nap on each floor when you’re tired. You can just have a lay down and doss off for a few minutes to refresh yourself. And that’s a helpful thing to do.

There’s a gong that I’ve made which you’ve been invited to play. Playing a gong isn’t very very complicated. In particular the gong mallet makes a pleasing sound. I’m hoping that that sound will please people.

What else? There’s a few little things. There’s a white board that I’ve made. There’s a pen on tape where you can write down how you’re feeling, which I suppose is quite a relaxed piece. There are mirrors in the gallery in case you need to look at yourself if you had spinach for lunch and need to check your teeth. Or to check if you’ve got spaghetti in your hair or something.

There’s some drawings – almost my entire archive of drawings from recent years. So you have a big splurge of information. There’s loads and loads of drawings. I’ve put a napping station in there as well because you will probably need a nap after trying to look at all those. And then on the top floor there’s another place for a nap. There’s also a stage where you can act out a play. It’s very short.’

Catch up on artplayer with Shrigley’s tattoo event for a previous AND Festival and artplayer’s InFocus interview with him, courtesy of Hayward Gallery.

Text by Carol Huston


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