Grayson Perry Tapestries

The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal, 2012, detail (image via: anothermag)

If you missed Grayson Perry’s The Vanity of Small Differences exhibition, which was on at the Victoria Miro gallery then I strongly recommend that you visit the William Morris Gallery in north-east London, which will be exhibiting Perry’s Walthamstow Tapestry until 30 September. This large scale (3m x 15m) tapestry explores the impact of branding and advertising on our everyday lives so its theme is similar to the newer tapestries of the Victoria Miro exhibition.

If it is not possible to visit the exhibition or if you want to watch something really interesting and thought provoking then I suggest watching Grayson Perry’s documentary called All In The Best Possible Taste, which aired recently on UK’s Channel 4. The three-part documentary explores how the working, middle and upper classes have developed their sense of taste and how Perry created the six tapestries (two for each social class) for The Vanity of Small Differences exhibition.

It is rather rare for artists to reveal so much information about the creative process behind their work so having the opportunity to watch a TV series where the intentions of the artist have been so well documented is truly unique.

Grayson’s statement that “nothing has such a strong influence on our aesthetic taste as the social class we grow up in” is proven to be quite accurate as he travels through Britain and meets people of different social classes. In the first episode he travels to Sutherland to examine working class taste. In the second episode he goes to Kings Hill, a new development of executive housing in Kent to delve into the taste of middle class and finally in the last part of the series he travels to Cotswolds in Gloucestershire to investigate upper class taste.

Perry’s approach to the sensitive subjects of class and taste is just outstanding and his observations are truly profound. The questions he asks throughout the TV series are so perceptive and manage to retrieve such indicative answers that one has to recognize Grayson’s talent and intuition as a presenter.

A lot of the characters and objects that were encountered whilst filming the documentary are portrayed on the tapestries. The process that Perry followed to create his tapestries involved digitally designing them using Photoshop and then sending them to Flanders to be woven on a computer-controlled loom. Perry said that he chose the medium of tapestry because he enjoys “the idea of using this costly and ancient medium to show the commonplace dramas of modern British life”.

The six tapestries tell a story of class mobility embodied in the character of Tim Rakewell -a clear reference to William Hogarth’s “A Rake’s Progress”, which is a series of eight paintings that tell the story of Tom Rakewell: a young man who inherits a fortune from his father, misspends it, marries for money, goes to prison and finally dies in a madhouse. As Perry explained in the documentary, another influence for the tapestries derives from early renaissance painting, which is his “favourite form of art”. Moreover, his tapestries “to a greater or lesser extent, pay homage to a religious work”.

There are not many TV shows about art so the fact that a documentary on the research and process behind an artist’s work makes it to prime time national TV should give you a hint of Grayson Perry’s genius.

Here are the tapestries:

The Adoration of the Cage Fighters, 2012 (image via: factum-arte)

The Agony in the Car Park, 2012 (image via: factum-arte)

The Expulsion from Number Eight Eden Close, 2012 (image via: factum-arte)

The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal, 2012 (image via: factum-arte)

The Upper Class at Bay, 2012 (image via: factum-arte)

#Lamentation, 2012 (image via: factum-arte)

Grayson Perry in front of The Walthamstow Tapestry, 2009 (image via: trenddelacreme)


32 responses

  1. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  2. U have a very nice weblog over here. I just wanna say thanks for all the interesting stuff on it. I’ll follow your website if you keep up the good work!

  3. This is a cool blog over here. I think I’ll visit your website more if you post more of this kind of specific information. Many thanks for posting this information.

  4. I simply want to say I am just new to blogging and site-building and actually savored your web blog. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You certainly come with wonderful stories. Thanks a bunch for sharing your web-site.

  5. I simply want to mention I’m beginner to weblog and honestly loved you’re web blog. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You certainly have really good writings. Kudos for revealing your blog.

  6. I just want to mention I am all new to blogs and definitely loved you’re blog. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have superb stories. With thanks for sharing with us your blog site.

  7. I just want to tell you that I am just newbie to blogging and really enjoyed your web blog. Very likely I’m want to bookmark your blog . You certainly come with remarkable articles. Appreciate it for sharing with us your blog.

  8. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in truth was a leisure account it. Look complex to far introduced agreeable from you! However, how could we keep up a correspondence?

  9. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email.
    I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  10. Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

  11. Somebody essentially lend a hand to make significantly posts
    I might state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and to this
    point? I surprised with the analysis you made to make this
    particular publish amazing. Wonderful activity!

  12. By far essentially the most concise and up to date data I have found on this topic. I am glad that I navigated to your page. I’ll be now subscribing to your feed so that I can get the most recent updates. Appreciate all the knowledge here.

  13. Admiring the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you present.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material.
    Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your
    RSS feeds to my Google account.

  14. I simply want to mention I am just newbie to weblog and absolutely enjoyed this web site. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You actually come with wonderful well written articles. Many thanks for sharing your website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: