This month we focus on Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry, whose major Arts Council Collection work, The Vanity of Small Differences, will tour venues across the UK over the next 12 months and is currently on show as part of Newlyn Art Gallery’s latest National Partners Programme Exhibition, until January 2021.
Grayson Perry is a great chronicler of contemporary life, drawing us in with wit, affecting sentiment and nostalgia as well as, at times, fear and anger. In his work, Perry tackles subjects that are universally human: identity, gender, social status, sexuality, religion. Autobiographical references – to the artist’s childhood, his family and his transvestism – can be read in tandem with questions about décor and decorum, class and taste, and the status of the artist versus that of the artisan.
The Vanity of Small Differences tells the story of class mobility and the influence social class has on our aesthetic taste. Inspired by William Hogarth's 'A Rake's Progress' the six tapestries, measuring 2m x 4m each, chart the 'class journey' made by young Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects Grayson Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds for the television series 'All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry'.