You may have missed the Peter Blake show ‘Sculpture & Other Matters’ at Waddington Custot in Cork Street, that finished in April.  The gallery was filled with what were described as ‘everyday objects’ and, I imagine, the contents of Peter Blake’s studio – a lifetime of collecting ‘stuff’.  He has been making ‘assemblages’ or sculptures since the 1960’s after he took up woodworking at art college, and this was the first time in 20 years that he has shown them as the main emphasis of an exhibition (we are more familiar with his paintings and prints). 

Thankfully, his artefacts are not my current experience of everyday objects, but are admittedly similar to the ‘stuff’ that I have spent the last year purging from the clutter in my life.  It was a joy, though, to see how somebody else can embrace these ‘things’, rearranging, organising and assembling new imaginary environments for me to immerse myself in, within the confines of the safe, clean-line gallery space.  I am familiar with the therapy that comes from organising ‘stuff’, categorising it, containing it and then happily expunging it from my life.  The assemblages certainly had a Peter Blake familiarity about them and I felt safe in the knowledge I was viewing someone else’s ‘stuff’ from a pace or two away, allowing myself to be mentally, though not physically, drawn into his magical fantasies.  I now have digital photographic evidence of the show, disburdened and filed transparently away in the Cloud, whilst I carry a memory of a joyous visit and a sense of relief that I can leave it all behind.

Sir Peter Blake, Sculpture & Other Matters, Waddington Custot, 20 February – 13 April 2024