- a brand new three part series about portraiture and identity called Who Are You? and
- a one off programme Grayson's Great Design
- his first Channel 4 series All In the Best Possible Taste (Channel 4, 2012) which won a BAFTA for his exploration taste and class
- The Vanity of Small Differences - his series of tapestries produced as a result of the Channel 4 series. Perry and his gallery gifted this major work to the Arts Council Collection and the British Council. It is currently touring the UK supported by Channl 4. the Art Fund and others. Remaining dates are:
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (14 February – 11 May 2014)
- Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool (23 May – 10 August 2014)
- Leeds City Art Gallery (late August – October 2014).
- Also available as an iPhone/iPad app which I highly recommend for those unable to get to see the tapestries.
- Perry's 2013 Reith Lectures - still available as a podcast (links to MP3 recordings below) - and well worth downloading for posterity - even thought the BBC has determined they will be available indefinitely! They related to:
- Democracy Has Bad Taste - the process of assessing quality in contemporary art. Perry argues that there is no empirical way to judge quality in art. (see my blog post review in link at end)
- Beating the Bounds - Can anything be considered as art?
- Nice Rebellion, Welcome In! - Can art still shock us or have we seen it all before?
- I Found Myself In The Art World - Perry discusses his life in the art world and assesses the role of the artist in society.
Who are you? - the new Grayson Perry Series
Three hour long films film Grayson Perry meeting people and then producing their portraits.
The people have been chosen because they are facing "a moment in their lives when they need to define who they are". The challenge for Grayson Perry is to distil his encounter with them and the impressions he gained into a portrait.
The portraits range from miniatures, to large tapestries, statues and ceramic pots - which was the medium he first became known for. I'm sure they will all include a few well chosen words from Mr Perry! (see the above image for an example of how he works).
All of the works will then be shown in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery - alongside portraits in the permanent collection. This is being timed to accompany the transmission and since Channel 4 says later this year and the NPG has its exhibitions up to October already listed - I'm going to take a guess and say it'll be an exhibition opening in November which will turn into a mini-blockbuster over the Christmas holiday period!
A complete range of contemporary human life - not previously covered in the "Vanities" - are his sitters for a portrait. They include:
- a transgender teenager,
- Loyalist marchers in Northern Ireland,
- former Cabinet minster Chris Huhne (who sat for Grayson the day he was released from prison),
- deaf parents,
- a Muslim convert,
- a couple living with Alzheimers,
- X-Factor and Celebrity Big Brother contestant Rylan Clark.
As with the The Vanity tapestries, the individual participants contribute to a group portrait. This will be a panoramic group portrait which takes as its inspiration 'Derby Day' - the epic painting of social class by Victorian painter William Powell Frith which is in the permanent collection of Tate Britain. Interesting this is what the BBC Paintings website has to say about Frith - and some may perceive some interesting parallels with Perry.
The works of William Powell Frith depict crowded scenes from Victorian life. He was a traditionalist who spoke out against developments in contemporary society and openly satirised the likes of Oscar Wilde and the Pre-Raphaelites in his work.
Grayson's Great Design
The second programme for Channel 4 is about a house for Essex - the creation of Grayson's biggest, riskiest and most ambitious work of art yet.
His "great design" can only be described as an enormous two fingers to those who have sought to characterise the "Essex Girl" in a particular way. Perry was born and brought up in Essex and his project is a tribute to the Essex everywoman - resulting in the creation of a intricate chapel near Harwich which is dedicated to a mythical Essex woman called 'Julie.’
The design for the house is a visual one-off, handcrafted down to the finest detail in a rich, dense and extravagant style that gives two fingers to the puritanical modernist architectural establishment. There are 400 relief tiles depicting Julie, four roof sculptures, and a series of tapestries celebrating her life.
|A House for Essex in Wrabness|
An image of the "gingerbread house grand design"
It was commissioned by Alain de Botton's Living Architecture scheme dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of world-class architecture. It allows people to take holidays in modern architecture. I guess the idea is that the more people are exposed to contemporary architecture the more likely they are to commission it. Bookings will be taken for a stay in the house - which is due to open later this year.
When it is finished, it will be very, very elaborate. It will be an opportunity to live in a shrine. The idea behind the project relates to buildings put up as memorials to loved ones, to follies, to eccentric home-built structures, to shrines, lighthouses and fairytales."You can
- see more photos of the house here
- read about it here in a Guardian article and
- a RECOMMENDED READ Conde Nast article - Let's spend the night - written by Grayson Perry
Perry has had previous ideas for a chapel - including the Chapel de St Claire (Claire being the name of his female alter ego) .
Previous Making A Mark blog posts about Grayson Perry
Excluding short references to exhibitions in which he is appearing these are my blog posts about Grayson Perry
- 10 reasons to visit the RA Summer Exhibition 2013 (10 Jun 2013)
Without a shadow of a doubt, the star of the show can be found in the very last room.
The suite of brilliantly coloured tapestries which make up The Vanity of Small Differences by Grayson Perry RA are simply stunning. It's worth visiting the exhibition simply to see these tapestries.
- Essential Listening: Democracy Has Bad Taste (16 Oct 2013) - A compendium about Grayson Perry and his first Reith Lecture. Including links to the podcast, videos, transcript and news reviews.
- Audiences for Art - and how to engage them (4 March 2014) - Some of you may recall Grayson Perry's Reith lectures where he referenced audiences for the Arts. The one that stuck in my mind was "Fun, Fashion and Friends". I've now discovered the document from which this came.