11 March – 13 May 2017
The Crafts Council have recently acquired an exciting new addition to its national collection of contemporary craft: a pair of tapestries by Grayson Perry, winner of the Turner Prize in 2003.
The tapestries are the only pair in a public collection and will have their first public showing at Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects from 2 – 6 February at the Saatchi Gallery, London. The tapestries will then be shown at Banbury Museum as the first venue of a national tour.
The Essex House Tapestries: the life of Julie Cope (2015) were made for ‘A House for Essex,’ designed by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture, and well known through the Channel 4 programme ‘Grayson Perry’s Dream House.’ The house was conceived as a mausoleum to Julie Cope, a fictitious Essex ‘everywoman’, who was inspired by the people Perry grew up among.
The touring exhibition will consist of a diptych of the two tapestries, which tells Julie’s story through Perry’s recognisable vibrant and detail-orientated style. Alongside the tapestries will be a visualisation and specially commissioned audio recording of the Ballad of Julie Cope. The 3,000-word narrative, written and read by Perry himself, elaborates on the story of Julie’s life and is translatable to audiences across the country.
As the only chance to read and hear the ballad outside of the House for Essex, audiences will be able to explore ideas of regional identity, the effect of social history on the individual, and class mobility, through her journey.