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Grayson Perry tapestries and “ballad” recording to be shown by Crafts Council


Grayson Perry with In Its Familiarity, Golden. Photo: Katie Hyams and Living Architecture

The Crafts Council has acquired a pair of tapestries by Grayson Perry, to be presented publicly for the first time at its exhibition Collect next month. The Essex House Tapestries: The Life of Julie Cope were created in 2015 for A House for Essex, a public art building Grayson designed with FAT Architecture.

The house was created for an imaginary character named Julie, “an Essex everywoman” invented by Grayson, and these two tapestries, A Perfect Match and In Its Familiarity, Golden tell part of her story. Grayson also wrote a “biography” for the character in the form of a 3,000-word poem called The Ballad of Julie Cope and the Crafts Council has commissioned an audio recording of this read by Grayson, as well as a visualisation, which will be presented along with the artworks.

Visitors to Collect will be able to use an app to read more about the tapestries, see the images in closer detail, see related films and hear Grayson reading the ballad.

The purchase was supported by the Art Fund, Maylis and Victoria Miro, among other donors. After the Collect show, the exhibition will go on a national tour.

The Crafts Council has also announced it will be holding a benefit auction to raise funds to build “a new home for craft in London”. Works being auctioned include a donation from Grayson and pieces by Edmund de Waal, Clare Twomey, Tord Boontje and Joseph Harrington. The auction will go live on Artsy on 26 January.

Collect takes place at the Saatchi Gallery from 2–6 February 2017.