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I’m a Wee Bit in Awe of Grayson Perry

Image of Grayson Perry at Liberty
Grayson Perry at Liberty
(Image sourced from Liberty)

The English like eccentrics. They just don’t like them living next door. (Julian Clary)

I agree with Julian – the English have always celebrated eccentricity and quirkiness. I think this is a wonderful cultural trait and something to be proud of in this homogenized world we live in.

Grayson Perry is both English and a little eccentric, and it’s fair to say, he is pretty celebrated. Almost as famous for his cross dressing as he is for his amazing contemporary art, Perry was awarded the Turner prize in 2003 for his brilliant but often shocking ceramic works, the first ‘potter‘ to receive the accolade. He is a great chronicler of modern life, cleverly using wit and nostalgia (as well as some fear and anger) in his work.

His classically formed vases are decorated in bright colours, depicting disturbing and often uncomfortable subjects at odds with their attractive appearance. They are daring and, for me, at times confrontational (not always a bad thing in modern art, I think).  There is also a strong autobiographical element in Perry’s work, in which images of Grayson Perry as ‘Claire’, his well-known and oft-photographed female alter-ego, often appear.

Image of Grayson Perry's Boring Cool People Vase
‘Boring Cool People’ by Grayson Perry (1999)
Earthenware 63 x 27 x 27 cm
(Image sourced from Saatchi Gallery)
Image of Grayson Perry's Punters in the Snow (1999)
Punters in the Snow’ by Grayson Perry (1999)
40 x 25 x 25 cm
(Image sourced from Saatchi Gallery)
Image of Grayson Perry's Over The Rainbow 2001
Over The Rainbow’ by Grayson Perry
Earthenware 53.5 x 41 x 41 cm
(Image sourced from Saatchi Gallery)

Perry has also worked in different mediums, as seen here with a detailed piece of his ‘Walthamstow Tapestry’ and his ‘Map of Truths and Beliefs’. The intricacy of these works have me shaking my head in wonder…

Detail from Grayson Perry's Walthemstow Tapestry
‘The Walthamstow Tapestry’ (detail) by Grayson Perry (2009)
(Image sourced from Artnet)
Image of detail from Grayson Perry's Map of Truths and Beliefs (2011)
‘Map of Truths and Beliefs’ (detail) by Grayson Perry (2011)
(Image sourced from Artnet)

Grayson Perry collected his Turner prize award dressed as his alter ego Claire. I think that’s a pretty brave thing to do.

There is a wonderful you tube video of Grayson Perry talking about the celebration of individual differences. The world needs more people like him, I reckon’.


Grayson Perry, I salute you.

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Comments (21)

They are really cool, I love that they have that little bit of an extra story to them. God bless us eccentric Pommes!! I have to disagree with Julians comment though, nothing better than an eccentric neighbor to keep things interesting!

Wouldn’t you love to have Grayson Perry (or Claire) as a dinner party guest?

would be good, even better if you could have Julian Clarey as well!

Here’s my commitment to you, BCD – I solemnly promise if I ever have the opportunity to host a dinner party with Julian Clary & Grayson Perry, you will be invited. Can you imagine???

Ha ha….. I will bring the absynth!! – like you would need it!

Wow, she does beautiful work. 🙂

Yes, Mags – ‘Claire’ does! 🙂

How fascinating. I learned a great deal of new info here. What an interesting persona! Thank you.

For me, Grayson Perry is a great example of someone who dances to the beat of his own drum… 🙂

What a great personality – a true eccentric! I’ve a little one who may just end up a little like this (bless her she is the most creative person I know). Love this and his work is fab!

Lucky you. I think it’s cause for celebration, Shira.

Luckily – so do we! She amazes us, has from and early age (she’s 8 now). I can only imagine the ways in which she could astonish!

I think, particularly with girls, it is good to have kids who are a little headstrong. There are so many ways to be lead astray these days – a child who has an independent streak (and doesn’t just follow the masses) is almost reassuring?

I totally agree! She’s her own person (but not to a fault), I am sure they could do a university study on her. She is an incredible person, and a feisty one too! Her artwork is modern in every sense of the word. I can’t wait to take her Paris!

Woohoo! – Not long to go now! You’ll be in Paris before you know it. Wish I was going to be there, too! 🙂

Love this post, amazing artwork, incredible human being, and fantastic interview clip. I too am in awe by Grayson/Clair.

Hi Hillery – So glad you enjoyed learning a little about Grayson Perry. Of course his art is amazing, but I thought the clip was just fabulous, too. 🙂

I too have been awestruck by Grayson Perry. His work is amazing & I blogged about his tour with Alan Measles a few weeks ago – fantastic stuff! Cheers Sue

Hi Sue – whoops! Sorry I missed your post. Am going to check it out now (am sure it was far more cerebral than mine!) 🙂

thanks for introducing me to G. Perry

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