Grayson Perry exhibition launch at Salisbury Cathedral

GRAYSON Perry’s monumental tapestries exploring class mobility go on display in Salisbury Cathedral this summer

The Vanity of Small Differences, an exhibition of six huge tapestries by renowned contemporary artist Grayson Perry, will open on June 29.

Each of the 2m x 4m tapestries, inspired by William Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress, traces a stage of the “class trip” made by the young Tim Rakewell (an ironic reference to Tom Rakewell, the protagonist of Hogarth) and includes many characters , incidents and objects that Grayson Perry encountered while traveling through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and the Cotswolds while filming a series for Channel 4.

The tapestries have been toured extensively in recent years, but this is the first time they will be seen in an ecclesiastical setting, opening up a great opportunity for the cathedral to create a dialogue around the subject.

Welcoming The Vanity of Small Differences at the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury, said: “Perry’s subject in this sequence is social class and the myriad ways in which not only economic factors but also habits and tastes differentiate human beings. one of the other. It can be difficult.

“Perry asks us to see ourselves as others may see us, and he also asks us to recognize how we judge others. This, I believe, is worth exploring in a cathedral context. Questioning and self-reflection are vital disciplines in the life of faith, just as welcoming and honoring people from all walks of life is part of our vocation as a place of prayer and worship and as that place visited by thousands of people.

The Vanity of Small Differences exhibition is courtesy of the Arts Council Collection, Southbank Center London and the British Council, and a gift from the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with support from Channel 4 Television, from the Art Fund and the Sfumato Foundation with additional support from Alix Partners.

Artist Grayson Perry added: “I am extremely happy and proud that The Vanity of Small Differences is being shared in this way by the Arts Council and the British Council Collections. The work has traveled across the country and around the world – and now to Salisbury Cathedral, for this first exhibition in a religious space. It was designed as a public work of art, and I wanted to see them shared with very wide and varied audiences.

“My hope remains that for those who visit the exhibition at Salisbury Cathedral, it not only delights the eye and engages visitors, but also sparks debate about class, taste and British society.”

For more information on the exhibition or other upcoming events, visit the Salisbury Cathedral website.

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