Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry has curved his direction and turned his attention to portraiture and British identity at his current show of new works.
We were directed to meander the first floor, seeking out the fourteen portraits displaying a variety of personalities, groups and families. All installed in the National Portrait Gallery’s nineteenth and twentieth century rooms, these works of art include a young female-to-male transsexual, Northern Ireland Loyalist marchers, politician Chris Huhne and 2012 X-Factor contestant Rylan Clark – quite the assortment of characters!
Presented in a variety of mediums, the fourteen pieces focus on the themes of personality and identity in modern day Britain. Not straying from his best known medium, a number of the pieces were fashioned in ceramics, a craft Perry has perfected over the last 30 years. The remaining portraits were bought to life through bold tapestries and statement sculptures.
Comfort Blanket Tapestry
The tapestry, entitled Comfort Blanket, is portrait of Britain to “wrap yourself up in”. A giant banknote full of things we love and also love to hate, the arrangement is based on a British £10 note with the Queen reigning over the image, illustrated as if she were “your auntie”, says Perry.
“Comfort Blanket inspiration….
‘A friend whose family had walked out of Hungary fleeing the Soviets in 1956 said her mother referred to Britain as her ‘security blanket’. As their plane came in to land in the UK the tanoy relayed a message from the Queen saying ‘Welcome to Britain you are now in a safe country’.
People still come to our country for its stability, safety and rule of law. We should be proud of that.” – Grayson Perry
Britain is Best
Line of Departure
A Map of Days
Melanie, Georgina & Sarah
The Ashford Hijab
The Earl of Essex
Idealised Hetrosexual Couple
I Am A Man
The pieces were created during the making of Grayson Perry: Who Are You? - A recent Channel 4 documentary series that shadows Perry as he spends time with all sorts of different people who are struggling to find their own identity.