Grayson Perry leads future art stars in Manchester Art Gallery exhibition

By Culture24 Staff | 01 February 2011
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A photo of a man in a pink and white dress standing in front of a glass containing a tall green vase in an art gallery
© Manchester Art Gallery
As figureheads for the next generation of art lovers go, there can be few more likely to catch young eyes and ears than Grayson Perry.

In a typically flamboyant visit to Manchester Art Gallery, the Turner Prize-winning potter led a workshop for 20 local teenagers employed as the gallery’s “creative consultants”, rendezvousing with a pair of his pots recently bought by the venue.

A photo of a man in a pink and white dress standing in front of a glass containing a tall green vase in an art gallery
© Manchester Art Gallery
The two works by Perry, Jane Austen in E17 and Print for a Politician, were acquired last year following donations by The Art Fund, local philanthropists and other benefactors. They star in an exhibition, curated by local teenagers, linking historical treasures from the gallery collections with newer, contemporary artworks.

A Regency period dress and bonnet, China teapots, leather jackets once owned by punks at the end of the 1970s, wrestling pants once used by a champion wrestler at the start of the 20th century and a barbie doll accompany the acquisitions.

A close-up photo of a vase depicting young women in Regency dresses against a green paint background
© Manchester Art Gallery
One of the benefactors who helped make the purchase possible, Jack Livingstone,  said he was “thrilled” to have helped pay for the artworks with his wife, Janice.

“My memory is of an over-formal and hushed place. Nowadays it’s thronged with young people, especially animated school children learning from, being inspired and simply enjoying beautiful art.

“I can’t think of any work of art more likely to inspire their interest and curiosity than Grayson Perry’s exquisite pot.”

A photo of a man in a pink and white dress standing in front of a glass containing a tall green vase in an art gallery. The man is looking cheekily over his shoulder into the camera
© Manchester Art Gallery
Two of the teenagers dressed as Regency characters for a short film in the city centre, and the participants have also been involved in behind-the-scenes tours of the Gallery of Costume at Platt Hall and counterpart galleries in London as part of the project, called Visual Dialogues.

“It’s a wonderful example of how different organisations can come together and create something challenging and brilliant,” said Stephen Deuchar, the Art Fund Director. “Grayson Perry has been such an enthusiastic supporter of our cause.

“We’re excited to see these fun, challenging and provocative works go on show.”
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