(Perry, 2014, cited in, 2014)


The artist Grayson Perry has been influential in my group’s site specific work over the last few weeks particularly the concept of taking a classic form and modernising it. We began debating using Grayson Perry whilst studying his work in the Usher Gallery.

I have been fortunate enough to encounter a wider range of Perry’s work whilst working at the gallery as I was able to enjoy his exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery called Who are you? In this exhibition Perry has created fourteen portraits that “are not primarily concerned with what the subjects look like” (Perry, 2014) and instead are an insight into “the narratives of people’s lives” (Perry, 2014). Perry’s work was not very realistic and by not focusing on the physical traits of the subject it gave his work much more breadth in modernising the classic form.

Perry is looking to portray identity in these works and the journey that the subjects have undertaken and the troubles they have faced. I think this can be seen in the piece The Ashford Hijab in which Perry is depicting a young white girl who had converted to Islam. This was the journey that he wished to portray and the difficulties she faced by converting, his hope was it would make it be “seen differently by society” (Perry, 2014).

In the exhibition Perry uses different forms such as pottery and tapestry and then modernises them with the use of graphics, bright colours and imagery. In the case of The Earl of Essex he uses the modern concept of a “selfie” which is a picture of Rylan Clark, a television personality, but in the classic form of a Victorian miniature with a lock of Clark’s Hair in the back.

The aspects of Perry we aim to incorporate firstly is the updating of a classic form and we will be making a book that aims to challenge the audience and the art. The other aspect of Perry we are attracted to as a group is he eccentric personality which is depicted through his work and his out-there female alter-ego Claire. We aim to make our book very eccentric and fun much like the artist himself.




Works Cited:

Perry, G. (2014) Who are you? [online] London: National Portrait Gallery. Available from [Accessed 14 April 2015].

Perry, G. (2014) Taken From: A Map of Days. [online] London: National Portrait Gallery. Available from [Accessed 14 April 2015].