- Holly Searle
- London, United Kingdom
- Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.
Thursday, 24 September 2015
The Art of Genius - We go to the gallery By Holly Searle
I love observational comedy. It’s my absolute favourite. To see or hear someone else's humorous take on a relatively ordinary situation, to which laughter is the only possible response, is just the most glorious thing.
I can still recall how much my face hurt from laughing so much after seeing a stand-up comedian a few years ago. I felt sure that I was going to either break my jaw, or worse lock-it, and have to go to hospital. At one point I did wonder, if, after laughing so raucously for over two hours, if it was actually possible to die from laughing.
Thankfully I didn’t.
So when I read Miriam Elia’s We go to the gallery and ended up crying with laughter. I just knew that the little book that I was holding in my hands was pure comedy gold.
I looked at it again. Really examined it. And what I was actually holding was an incredibly intelligent and beautifully produce work of art.
Elia, both an artist and a gifted comedian, has managed to produced something that is not only clever, but also an homage to the artist and illustrator Harry Wingfield.
Here is a perfect pastiche of an original Peter and Jane learn to read Ladybird book, that features the same key words and phrases model, that has been illustrated in a similar vain, depicting the two children’s visit to a modern art gallery with their mother.
The concept is exquisitely (re)produced.
Anyone who learnt to read with the Peter and Jane series will find this book hilarious. The juxtaposition of the style with the subject matter, is pure genius.
But it’s the slow build up of the text and the sudden realisation of what you are reading, that pays the greatest dividends for this tiny treasure.
The premise is that Peter and Jane and their mother visit a modern art gallery. There they encounter capitalism, sexual confusion, and the perverse conceptual Chapmanesque world of art in full medical textbook glory. Plus, there is the additional revelation of their mother’s latent unhappiness. The further you venture into this book, the more you notice its ingenuity mixed with its sublime deadpan comedic use of linguistics, and then their appearance as the selected key words at the bottom of each page.
It is just stunning.
Like I said, I cried with laughter.
If you like laughing, comedy, art and are impressed by ingenuity, treat yourself to a copy.
Book, genius, buy, laugh, keep.
We go to the gallery the commercial hardback edition was published on the 21/09/15 by Dung Beetle Books for £8.99 and is available from all good stockist. Or you can order from www.wegotothegallery.com The Kindle and iPad version will be available to download in October 2015.