On the cover: In its Familiarity, Golden by Grayson Perry
What can you tell us about In Its Familiarity, Golden?
It is a tapestry, part of a series of four which make up Julie Cope’s Grand Tour. Together they tell the life story of Julie Cope, an Essex everywoman created by Grayson Perry. In Its Familiarity, Golden is my favourite of the four. The couple in the middle are Julie and her second husband, Dave. The title’s really beautiful because it celebrates the familiarity of a middle-aged marriage, when you know someone and you have that bond. I think there’s something really touching about it.
What other elements of the piece are there?
Because it’s Grayson Perry, there’s a sort of tragedy. It depicts Julie’s death in the front right-hand corner. She’s been run over by a scooter driven by a man delivering curry. It’s a very mundane way to go, but then the everyday is so important
to everything that Grayson Perry does.
Why do you think Grayson chose to create the work as a tapestry?
I think one of the reasons Grayson’s become so fascinated with tapestries is because they have connotations of being from the castles of kings and they tell stories of chivalry or great battles. They’re not necessarily telling tales of an everyday person who has this very ordinary life. But those lives are meaningful. There should be tales about them. The storytelling in this piece is richer than any of his previous tapestries. It’s sort of a culmination of his work in tapestry.
The piece will feature as part of Grayson Perry’s first major solo show in Scotland. What can we expect for the exhibition?
We wanted to explore both the creative storytelling, but also the technical process that went into this work. Grayson works with jacquard weaving, a way of making a tapestry using digital technology. We really wanted to expand on the technical craft of it.
What do you think makes him such an important artist?
I think it’s the fact that he’s such a natural communicator. He is incredibly self aware. He knows that the world of art can get very self-involved and a little bit up itself maybe. He’s wonderfully down to earth and people respond to that sincerity.
What other exhibitions at the Edinburgh Art Festival are you looking forward to?
The Edinburgh Printmakers, who have a beautiful new building, are working with someone called Hanna Tuulikki and she’s brilliant. I’m look forward to seeing her work. And then Caroline Achaintre at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. She was a rug maker who now creates these woven sculptures. She’s very interesting as well. I can’t wait.
Grayson Perry: Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: A Crafts Council Touring Exhibition is at Dovecot Studios from 25th July to 2nd November 2019. The Edinburgh Art Festival runs from 25 July to 25 August 2019. For details and tickets see edinburghartfestival.com
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