Grayson Perry at the National Portrait Gallery

Grayson Perry is the unique multitalented, multi representational (a well known cross-dresser, supporter of the labour party, currently resides in London with his wife and daughter) artist from Chelmsford who has touched people across the UK with his artwork. Last Autumn – and yes I am so late with this exhibition but you still have a few weeks to catch it and if I were you I absolutely would! – Perry had a series of three sixty-minute films broadcast on Channel 4 titled ‘Grayson Perry: Who Are You?’  In unison with this Perry has put on an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

Fourteen art installations have been positioned amongst the first floor nineteenth and twentieth century rooms. Much of Perry’s work centres around ceramic vases but he is also known for his intricate quilting & crazy cool dress designs! His work is sensational as every piece (that I’ve seen) has a genuine narrative. Specifically with his ‘Who are you?’ exhibition which deals massively with identity and our place on this earth. Each piece narrates this journey by channelling real people and their stories, as individuals, couplings and groups. Below are some of my favourite pieces.

Modern Family

Modern Family

Jack and John; a gay couple who have adopted a mixed-race child. Not only is the piece aesthetically stunning with attention to detail that is just mesmerising, but for me the subject matter is one close to my heart. Any good person, or pair, are worthy of parenthood in my eyes, no matter race, gender or sexual orientation. Being a mixed race (total) babe, I understand my parents getting the old side eye in the street when I was a kid.

Melanie, Georgina And Sarah

Melanie, Georgina And Sarah

Three women who according to Perry are ‘big and proud’! He’s chosen to portray them in a somewhat ‘hieratic’ form which I think is great because to me a fuller figure represents fertility, sass, wisdom, and a hearty appetite – four things that should definitely be worshipped.The juxtapositional element here being that the figures are made up of a number of images of female ‘perfection’ and different types of food. ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels..’ – well err i’m a size 12 and I feel f***ing GREAT!

photo 4

Memory Jar

This was beautiful. An elderly married couple, Christopher & Veronica Devas; Christopher is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Photos transferred onto the vase were images, or memories one might say, of their time spent together. On the back of the vase (why didn’t I get a photo) was a demon with a pair of scissors hacking away at the photos. My nan had alzheimer’, it’s one of the most heartbreaking things a person can suffer through. True loss of identity.

I’m writing too much so basically get your butts down to this. Only a couple weeks left and it’s really quite amazing. Follow Perry on twitter  & heres the link to the National Portrait Gallery 


2 thoughts on “Grayson Perry at the National Portrait Gallery

  1. I’d missed that this exhibition was happening, so thanks for the alert. It looks fabulous and familiar too – i think i saw a TV show with Grayson Perry researching these subjects before making the pots. Nicola


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