Grayson Perry | The Victoria Art Gallery

Grayson Perry

2014

In 2014 the Victoria Art Gallery acquired a print by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry.

Through the generosity of the Art Fund and the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery, Grayson Perry’s ‘Map of Days’ was secured for the gallery’s collection.

Rather than depicting the artist’s face, the portrait shows the inner workings of his mind, full of the preoccupations and pitfalls of modern life.

Perry said: “I’ve portrayed myself as a walled city. The wall, I suppose, in some ways represents my physical skin but at the same time it’s permeable. I absorb the influences and the ideas of the landscape I find myself in.  I am as much my baggage as the person holding the baggage.”

The work featured in a Channel Four television series entitled ‘Who Are You’ during October 2014. Perry turned his attention to identity as he created portraits from tapestries to sculptures and pots of diverse individuals who are all trying to define who they are.

Perry spent time with Britons facing a moment in their lives when they needed to define who they are, and then distilled his impressions of each of them into a portrait. Some of the sitters become miniatures, some large tapestries, some statues and, of course, some pots, but all of the works were shown in a special display alongside the portraits in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London in October 2014.

The Victoria Art Gallery exhibited Perry’s suite of tapestries ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ from 9 January – 10 April 2016. The exhibition turned out to be the most popular in the Gallery’s 116-year history. There was also a sell-out talk by Perry at the Assembly Rooms on 7 April 2016, attended by 500 people.

Image: Grayson Perry, Map of Days

2018

In 2018 The Victoria Art Gallery secured grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Art Fund and Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery to buy Grayson Perry's Posh Art

The purchase was made possible thanks to support from a wide variety of stakeholders: a National Lottery grant of £46,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, a grant of £19,000 from Art Fund, £7,500 from the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery, and many individual donations from the public helped bring the urn to Bath. The pot itself cost £75,000, meaning that nearly all of the cost was met by grant-aid and public subscription.

Following on from the huge success of Grayson Perry’s exhibition The Vanity of Small Differences in 2016, the Gallery was keen to add a ceramic artwork by the artist to its permanent collection. Posh Art was carefully chosen as the ideal work for the Gallery, as its classical urn shape relates to Bath’s famous architecture. The title of the piece, which dates from 1992, refers to taste and class, as do the images with which it is decorated.

Posh Art is now on display in our first floor gallery where it can be seen for free.

Image: Posh Art by Grayson Perry