Grayson Perry tapestries find permanent home

The Vanity of Small Differences, a series of six exuberant tapestries by Grayson Perry have been bought by the Arts Council Collection and British Council with our help.

Bursting with colour, cultural references and Perry’s trademark wit, the six monumental works narrate the story of social mobility and cultural taste across the classes in contemporary British society. Created alongside the popular Channel 4 series All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry, the artist took his inspiration from Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress.

The tapestries 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 series.

The medium on which these tableaus of British taste have been captured is of course very apt; Perry has literally woven the threads of society into his vivid and humorous vision of the ‘rich tapestry of life’.

“Of all the pieces I have made this was the one I conceived from the outset as a public artwork. I hope that wherever it goes it not only delights the eye but also sparks debate about class, taste and British society.”

  • Grayson Perry

The acquisition

These important works were gifted to the Arts Council Collection and the British Council by Grayson Perry and the Victoria Miro Gallery in London and supported by the Art Fund, Channel 4 Television and the Sfumato Foundation.

Tapestries on tour

Along with the Sfumato Foundation, we’ve supported an extensive tour of the tapestries across the UK to allow these popular works to be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

The tapestries will go on display in Sunderland in June 2013 as part of the Festival of the North East, before continuing to Manchester Art Gallery in late 2013. Exhibitions at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool, as well as Temple Newsam House in Leeds will follow in 2014.

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