Exhibition Grayson Perry

Exhibition Grayson Perry: The Life of Julie Cope

Art Exhibition, Sat 18 Nov 2017 – Sun 18 Feb 2018, free entry to Firstsite Colchester

Grayson Perry: The Life of Julie Cope is a unique presentation comprising of tapestries, woodcuts, ceramics and tiles designed by the Turner Prize-winning artist for A House for Essex (2015), the building designed by the artist in collaboration with Charles Holland of FAT Architecture. A House for Essex serves as a secular chapel to the memory of a fictional Essex woman, Julie Cope, created by Grayson Perry. Located overlooking the scenic Stour Estuary in the village of Wrabness in north-east Essex, the House is both an artwork in itself and the setting for a number of artworks by Grayson Perry that explore the distinct character and unique qualities of the county.

The exhibition will include all four large-scale tapestries made for the House as well as sketchbooks, drawings and photographs that chart its development. The Essex House Tapestries: The Life of Julie Cope (2015), illustrate the key events in the protagonist’s journey, from her birth on Canvey Island during the great flood of 1953 to her untimely death in a tragic accident on Colchester High Street. Overflowing with cultural and architectural detail, the tapestries contain a social history of Essex and modern Britain that reflects Firstsite’s year-long focus on contemporary identity.
The two further tapestries, made for the bedrooms at A House for Essex, are portraits of Julie and her life with each of her husbands: Julie and Rob (2013), and Julie and Dave (2015). Also included in the show is a series of black and white woodcuts, entitled Six Snapshots of Julie, which depict the six decades of Julie’s life.
When writing 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. These artworks represent, in Perry’s words, ‘the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of an average life.’

Grayson Perry house: The Life of Julie Cope

A House for Essex was commissioned by Living Architecture, which was founded to change public perceptions about modern architecture by building houses that are rented by the public for holidays.
Grayson Perry CBE RA (born 24 March 1960) is an English artist, known mainly for his ceramic vases. Perry’s vases have classical forms and are decorated in bright colours, depicting subjects at odds with their attractive presence. There is a strong autobiographical portion in his work, in which images of Perry as “Claire”, his female alter-ego, often appear. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003.
In 2008 Perry was ranked number 32 in The Telegraph’s list of the “100 most powerful people in British culture”. In 2012, Perry was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork—the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover—to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life.
The Turner Prize, named after the English painter J. M. W. Turner, is an annual prize presented to a British visual artist. Between 1991 and 2016, only artists under the age of 50 were eligible. Awarding the prize is organised by the Tate gallery and usually staged at Tate Britain, though in recent years the award ceremony has sometimes been held in other UK cities. Since its beginnings in 1984 it has become the UK’s most publicised art award. The award represents all media.

Aspects of Myself 2001 Grayson Perry, Purchased from Laurent Delaye Gallery with assistance from David and Janice Blackburn 2002 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T07904

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017
The Most Popular Art Exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries, London; travelling to Arnolfini, Bristol
2016
Hold Your Beliefs Lightly, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands; travelling to ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Aarhus, Denmark
My Pretty Little Art Career, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
2015
Provincial Punk, Turner Contemporary, Margate
Small Differences, Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
2014
Who are You?, National Portrait Gallery, London
Walthamstow Tapestry, Winchester Discovery Centre
2013 – 2017
The Vanity of Small Differences (UK Art Fund/British Council National and International Tour): Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Tyne and Wear; Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds; Victoria Art Gallery, Bath; The Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry; Croome Park, Worcester; Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury; Izolyatsia Platform for Cultural Initiatives, Kyiv, Ukraine; Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia; National Gallery, Pristina, Kosovo; Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Bosnia

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