Grayson Perry’s dresses really are works of art in new exhibition

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Grayson Perry and dressImage copyright
Gareth Jones/Hat Trick Productions

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This dress was designed for his alter-ego Claire’s “coming out ceremony” in 2000

Grayson Perry is famous for his dress sense as well as his art. Now his flamboyant dresses are being exhibited as works of art in their own right.

The artist wears the multi-coloured, highly detailed outfits when stepping out as his alter-ego Claire.

Twelve of them, including the Bo Peep dress he wore to collect the Turner Prize in 2003, are going on show at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

It is the first exhibition of Perry’s dresses in the UK.

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Gareth Jones

Perry stages an annual contest for students at Central Saint Martins art college to design an outfit for him. The psychedelic dress above is one of these, created by Angus Lai in 2014.

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Gareth Jones

The dress he wore when he picked up the Turner Prize is embroidered with the name Claire and the word “sissy”.

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Gareth Jones

The dress above left, by Central Saint Martins student Sarah Hall, puts baying wolves next to embroidered sheep. Perry himself designed the dress and matching bonnet, centre, in 2008. The eyes on Artist’s Robe (right) are a reference to how Perry sees the world.

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Gareth Jones

Perry made his name with pottery and tapestry. The Walker’s curator Pauline Rushton said: “Costumes are just another aspect of what he does.”

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Gareth Jones

The exhibition – Making Himself Claire: Grayson Perry’s Dresses – runs at the Walker Art Gallery from 4 November to 4 February 2018.


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