Grayson Perry and the Reith Lectures

Grayson Perry

This image is a detail from “The Walthamstow Tapestry” (2009) by Grayson Perry, a 15m by 3m work. The tapestry can be read from left to right, starting with a scene of childbirth and continuing with depictions of man’s passage through life until death.

I enjoyed listening to the Reith lectures on Radio 4 by Grayson Perry over the last few weeks. I like his pragmatic approach to the art world. In his words he explains, “In this series of lectures, I’ve tried to answer some of the fundamental obvious questions about the art world. I’ve not done this to expose the workings as some kind of trick like ripping the curtain back on The Wizard of Oz, but because I thought people might be intrigued. I did it so that people like the scarecrow and the tin man and the lion might enter the Emerald City of the art world a little smarter, a little braver, and a little fonder.”

This in particular resonated with me. In the last of the lectures, he says “But the metaphor that best describes what it’s like for me being an artist is a refuge, a place in my head where I can go on my own and process the world and it’s complexities. It’s a kind inner shed in which I can lose myself.”

All four lectures are well worth a listen, so if you didn’t get chance to hear them when broadcast search on BBC iplayer/radio4.

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