Wednesday, June 28, 2023

News: Wentworth Woodhouse hosts Grayson Perry exhibition


The Vanity of Small Differences, an exhibition by one of the UK's best-known artists, Turner-Prize winning Grayson Perry, is opening today at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham.

The series of six large and exuberant tapestries inspired by 18th century painter William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, runs until September 3 - and hopes are it will inspire local people to take up needle and thread.

Grayson created the tapestries after his 2012 Channel 4 TV series All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry, which journeyed through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds to explore the British fascination with class and what is - or isn’t - deemed good taste.

The artist wove the characters, incidents and objects encountered along the way into his tapestries, which are now in the Arts Council Collection.

These tapestries will hang in four of the mansion’s State Rooms and it’s hoped they will inspire people to make their own textile art.

Wentworth Woodhouse - A Summer of Creative Textile Workshops - will be running during the exhibition to give visitors the chance to learn new skills from seven talented Yorkshire artists.

Featuring techniques from shish mirror embroidery to weaving and rag rugging, the workshops are supported by Flux Rotherham, an Arts Council England Creative People and Places programme.

The workshops follow on from The Threads that Connect Us, Flux Rotherham’s creative project which saw 170 local people - from beginners to experienced embroiderers - stitch, quilt and applique textile artworks.

Their creations were included in Threads of Survival, a national creative textiles project to share memories of the pandemic.

Said Flux director Helen Jones: “Our project proved there’s now a strong interest in learning traditional crafting skills again. Many people turned to them in the pandemic and found them therapeutic and it’s lovely to see this continuing.

“Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust shares our ethos of community, diversity and inclusion and the Grayson Perry exhibition was the perfect opportunity to come together.”

The Trust is regenerating Rotherham’s Grade I listed mansion and providing community and educational projects, activities and experiences, particularly for people with disabilities, the socially and economically disadvantaged and culturally diverse groups.

“We are delighted to present Grayson Perry’s epic series of tapestries at Wentworth Woodhouse,” said Sarah McLeod, WWPT CEO. “For centuries, tapestries have been an art form on which creators recorded historic events and expressed their opinions. I am sure Grayson's modern interpretations will fascinate our visitors and inspire them to learn new skills at the crafting sessions we are staging with Flux Rotherham.”

Wentworth Woodhouse website
Flux Rotherham website

Images: Arts Council Collection / YouTube


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