Grayson Perry’s Walthamstow Tapestry


Detail from Grayson Perry’s Walthamstow Tapestry

Grayson Perry’s Walthamstow Tapestry is currently on show at the Winchester Discovery Centre. I took the chance to see it recently and was really impressed with how it is displayed in the Gallery and the opportunities for close examination that this affords. There is too much to take in all at once but as you move slowly from one end to another, details start to catch your eye and draw you in. It is has the epic quality of something like the Bayeaux Tapestry, and this was in part what Perry was trying to achieve. As a commentry on consumerism, and our emotional links to brands throughout our lives, it is both sobering and compelling. Perry deliberately chooses to represent all the brands woven into the tapestry using the same font and stripped of their logos. This has the desired effect of making the viewer engage in personal connections between the brand and its place in their own lives.

The Discovery Centre also holds a huge Alice Kettle tapestry and it is exciting to revisit that work, which is a permanent part of the Discovery Centre, in the light of exploring Perry’s work.

The Library at Winchester School of Art holds a wide range of material on both Grayson Perry and Alice Kettle. I would recommend seeking this out and making time to visit the Discovery Centre. The exhibition is free and on in the Winchester Discovery Centre Gallery until 6 July 2014.