Grayson Perry Map of Nowhere
Detail of Grayson Perry, Map of Nowhere, 2008 ©

British Council Collection

Part of my role as an artist is similar to that of a shaman or witch doctor. I dress up, I tell stories, give things meaning and make them a bit more significant. - Grayson Perry

Winner of the 2003 Turner prize, Grayson Perry is one of Britain's best-known contemporary artists. In addition to creating his highly elaborated ceramic works, Perry works in a wide range of media such as embroidery, photography, printmaking and sculpture. In his work, he deals with such serious subjects as violence, prejudices, sexual suppression and the conventional customs and beliefs that people rely on, without fear of being misunderstood. 

His artistic expression is often flavored with fantasy and humour, as well as self-identification. Many of his works contain autobiographical elements. Perry often dresses as a transvestite and his female image, Claire, appears as an important character in many of his creations. Another important character that often appears in Perry’s works is Alan Measles, a teddy bear that can be a “surrogate father” figure and the artist’s protector. 

Grayson Perry has had major solo exhibitions nationally and internationally including the critically acclaimed Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman at the British Museum in 2011 - where he combined his own works with historical artefacts from the British Museum collection. Previous solo presentations include Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2008); 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2007); Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2006); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2002) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002). 

His monumental suite of tapestries The Vanity of Small Differences is currently on a national and international tour led by the Arts Council Collection and British Council. His second television series for Channel 4, Grayson Perry: Who Are You? broadcast in October last year, along with an accompanying solo presentation of works on the theme of portraiture and British identity at the National Portrait Gallery, London in March 2015. Born in Chelmsford, Essex in 1960, Grayson Perry lives and works in London.  

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