Grayson Perry: A Potted Biography - Opens at Shetland Museum & Archives

A display of ceramics by contemporary British artist, author, and broadcaster Grayson Perry is set to open at the Shetland Museum and Archives on Saturday 2nd November.

Winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, Perry is known for his vases, two of which will be the highlight of the gallery show, ‘A Potted Biography’. Perry is also well known for his tapestries, cross-dressing and observations of the contemporary arts scene. Many of his pieces are autobiographical, often featuring his female alter-ego ‘Claire’ and his childhood teddy bear ‘Alan Measles’. Alongside the vases there will be an exhibition entitled 'My Potted Biography', displaying items on loan from people in Shetland, representing key aspects of their own life stories.

Dr. Ian Tait, Curator of the Shetland Museum and Archives said, “This is a hugely exciting event for Shetland. We work hard to present new works at the Museum throughout the year to engage people with Shetland’s outstanding heritage. In addition, it is also our ambition to provide Shetlanders with the opportunity to experience art and exhibitions that would otherwise be unavailable to them locally. Bringing artwork to Shetland from such a well-known and provocative artist such as Grayson Perry is incredible. Juxtaposing the artist’s biography with that of local people is both innovative and fun.”

The two pieces from Grayson Perry, ‘My Gods’ and ‘Aspects of Myself’, are autobiographical and are on loan from Tate. The classical shapes and attractive appearance of the vases are in sharp contrast to the issues they depict. ‘Aspects of Myself’ was created by Perry in 2001 and combines a variety of decorative techniques to create a complex and challenging piece, reflecting Perry’s own life. ‘My Gods’ was created by Perry in 1994 and features a series of figures, each representing a different deity that symbolises the artist’s own personal theology and heavily influenced by his own relationship with his parents.

Key loans have been made possible through The Ferryman Project: Sharing Works of Art which is supported by National Lottery players through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the John Ellerman Foundation and the Art Fund.

Ruth Mackenzie, Chair of the Shetland Amenity Trust who run the Shetland Museum and Archives service commented, “This is an incredible achievement and would not have been possible without the vision and commitment of our expert team and the support of The Ferryman Project. Securing the loan was only the first stage, and the team have now created an eye-catching installation, transforming Da Gadderie space to create an entertaining and thought-provoking experience.”

The Ferryman Project: Sharing Works of Art is part of the part of The Ferryman Partnership Programme inspired by the recent acquisition of William Stott of Oldham’s Le Passeur (The Ferryman) 1881 for Tate’s National Collection of British Art. It is supported by National Lottery players through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the John Ellerman Foundation and Art Fund.

A Potted Biography’ will run from Saturday 2nd November to Friday 11th January in Da Gadderie at Shetland Museum and Archives. A programme of events and associated activities will be published on the Shetland Museum and Archives website shortly and promoted via their social media feeds.

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