Our lovely award-winning member Abbot Hall Art Gallery showcases a variety of works by a wealth of international artists throughout the year. This winter, for the first time, the gallery is displaying the work of Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry.
Perry is known as being a chronicler of contemporary life, touching on nostalgia as well as, at times, fear and anger. His work tackles subjects that are universally human: gender, social status, sexuality and religion. The current exhibition is titled, Julie Cope's Grand Tour: The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry, and is on display until the 16th February 2019.
Interested in what to expect? There are two giant tapestries on display that depict Julie Cope - a fictional character created by Perry. Julie is an Essex everywoman whose story he has told through the two tapestries and extended ballad presented in the exhibition.
The tapestries are shown alongside a graphic installation, and specially commissioned audio recording The Ballad of Julie Cope, a 3,000 word narrative written and read by Perry himself that illuminates Julie’s hopes and fears as she journeys through life.
To write Julie’s biography, Perry looked to the English ballad and folktale tradition, narrating a life that conveys the beauty, vibrancy and contradictions of the ordinary individual.
Rich in cultural and architectural details, the tapestries contain a social history of Essex and modern Britain that everyone can relate to. These artworks represent, in Perry’s words, ‘the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of an average life’.
Although tapestries were used historically in grand domestic interiors, Perry contrasts the associations of status, wealth and heritage with current concerns about class, social aspiration and taste.
If that wasn’t enough, there are also three ceramics by Perry that have gone on show at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House. One of these works is on display for the first time ever.
Fancy getting tickets? Visit their website.