Grayson Perry to go back to 80s roots with Provincial Punk show in Margate this summer

By Culture24 Reporter | 27 February 2015

Early ceramics, super-8 films and sketchbooks to feature in exhibition of subversive works

A photo of a potted vase with pictures of pop stars painted onto it
Grayson Perry, Sex and Drugs and Earthenware (1995). Glazed ceramic© Courtesy Grayson Perry / Victoria Miro, London
Anti-elitism, unfashionable creativity and Grayson Perry’s beginnings, as a young artist during the 1980s, will be the theme of a summer exhibition at Margate’s Turner Contemporary, , exploring the roots of the artist’s practice.

More than 50 works, made between 1981 and last year, will feature ceramics, tapestries, drawings, prints and films.

“I was a punk in the provincial sense,” harks Perry.

“I was there in my bedroom with an old school shirt stencilling the word ‘hate’ onto it, looking out onto the lush turf of the north Essex countryside.

“Then, when I came to London, I was hanging out with people who were at the cutting edge of fashion - Body map, John Maybury, Cerith Wyn Evans, Steven Jones and Michael Clark were my part of my social circle at the time.

“And yet I was making pottery…with a Shetland woolly jumper view of the world, and that was funny.

“The idea of ‘Provincial Punk’ is an oxymoron but it encapsulates creatively some sort of spirit in my work that still goes on to this day.

“It is a very creative force, a willingness to turn things over, to not accept the fashion and to have a bit of fun.

“It is a kind of teasing rebellion; it is not a violent revolution.”

A photo of a piece of drawn art showing an elaborate map
Grayson Perry, Map of Nowhere (2008). Etching from five plates on one sheet© Courtesy Grayson Perry / Paragon Press / Victoria Miro, London
An “extensive” display of ceramic pots, including early works from the late 1980s, are described as “visually seductive”.

Bungalow Depression and The Poor Girl are two of the titles of his super-8 films, while his sketchbooks are said to merge the confessional, sexual fantasies and political criticism.

“Even at college I see most of the things I am interested in now: the religious, ritual element, the social issues and the decorative,” reflects the artist.

“It is just a matter of sophistication and craft skills that develop.”

  • You can see the exhibition at Turner Contemporary from May 23 – September 13 2015.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

A photo of a huge sculpted grey skull
Grayson Perry, Head of a Fallen Giant (2008). Bronze© Courtesy Grayson Perry / Victoria Miro, London
A photo of a yellow vase with various illustrations around it
Grayson Perry, Good and Bad Taste (2007). Glazed ceramic© Courtesy Grayson Perry / Victoria Miro, London
A photo of a sculpture of a light green or grey helmet
Grayson Perry, Early English Motorcycle Helmet (1981). Aluminium© Courtesy Grayson Perry / Victoria Miro, London
More from Culture24's coverage of Grayson Perry:

Art Everywhere: Grayson Perry and Antony Gormley on the largest art exhibition in Britain

Grayson Perry proves unmissable in Museums at Night visit to Yorkshire Museum

Museums at Night Curator's Choice: Grayson Perry's taste tribe tapestries in Liverpool
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