As part of a new and exclusive exhibition, dresses belonging to the Artist, Grayson Perry, will be exhibited at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery from November 4th until February 2018. Making Himself Claire: Grayson Perry’s Dresses will showcase 12 dresses, including the famous Bo Peep dress, he wore whilst he received his Turner prize in 2003.
The free display, explores Perry’s history and interest in cross-dressing, which has been part of his life since childhood. Perry commented saying, “I think of my dressing up as the heraldry of my subconscious.”
Since 2004, Perry has primarily worn dresses designed by the fashion students at London’s Central St Martins. They take part in an annual competition to create new designs. He then judges their work, awards prizes and purchases up to 20 of their creations every year. Perry says: “I encourage them to make the dresses as bizarre and exciting as they can.”
Essex-born Perry calls his transvestite alter ego Claire and considers 5 November 1975 to be Claire’s birthday. While he didn’t adopt the name until later, when he began to visit transvestite clubs, it was on this date that, aged fifteen, he first walked around his local village wearing a chiffon headscarf over an auburn wig, a brown polyester blouse and a dog-tooth checked skirt, black court shoes and a beige mac.
Pauline Rushton, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts at National Museums Liverpool, said: “Visitors who enjoyed Grayson Parry’s touring exhibition The Vanity of Small Differences at the Walker in 2014 will be familiar with the artist’s ability to explore complex social issues in a relatable, witty and engaging way.
“It is fascinating to see how themes of identity, social status, sexuality and religion are represented in a variety of symbols across Claire’s dresses, along with Perry’s own personal iconography. We’re sure that visitors will love seeing the dresses up-close and examining the detail represented.”
Making Himself Claire: Grayson Perry’s Dresses runs from November 4th until February in 2018. For more information, click HERE.< Back to the news