THE LIFE OF JULIE COPE: GRAYSON PERRY

A PERFECT MATCH - GRAYSON PERRY, 2015

Grayson Perry is exhibiting THE LIFE OF JULIE COPE at Colchester’s Firstsite gallery, in his home county of Essex. Perry describes Julie’s tale as representing ‘the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of an average life’, by portraying Julie’s life through tapestries, woodcuts, sketchbooks and an audio telling of her story. Seeing the smallest of details being studied and celebrated led me to reflect on other life cycles – I considered that of the gallery and the artist as well as that of the visitors. Firstsite is a relatively new gallery…

BP PORTRAIT AWARD 2016

JEAN - JEAN PAUL TIBBLES, 2015

An annual event to get excited about is the prestigious BP Portrait Award. Arguably the most important portrait competition in the world, based at the National Portrait Gallery, London. It is currently on tour and residing at Firstsite, Colchester, UK. Putting aside the politics of the sponsor, which is not without its protests, the competition produces incredible work. This is unsurprising with the high number of entries from an unrestricted geography. 2017 saw 2,580 entries from 87 countries resulting in talent, diversity and energy. The sum of these adjectives add…

TEN QUESTIONS TO … WENDY BAILEY

RED LADY - WENDY BAILEY

AS: Wendy, when we were first introduced, you were working in PR, could you please give me a brief summary of your career? WB: When I was 16, I ran away from my all girls convent school, the Ursuline Grammar School in Brentwood. I changed out of my school uniform in the High Street toilets and into jeans and jumper. I studied Drama Performance – because I wanted to be an actor. I also took Art – for theatre design and because I loved it. My first job was as…

THE LONELY CITY – ADVENTURES IN THE ART OF BEING ALONE

THE LONELY CITY - OLIVIA LAING

A for Art or possibly Autobiography? Psychology or Politics and Ideas? The Lonely City could legitimately sit on any one of these shelves. Working in a bookshop reinforces the importance of filing and the need to know where stock is, and more tantalizingly, understanding which position will tempt a browser. Part memoir and part artists’ biography, The Lonely City was written by native Brit Olivia Laing as a reaction to finding herself suddenly and unexpectedly living alone in New York. Her loneliness drove her to finding solace in the realm of visual art. Experienced by millions, but not widely…

PLAYING TO THE GALLERY – GRAYSON PERRY

Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry’s Playing to the Gallery is his short guide to visiting a gallery, looking at art and asking questions we are too embarrassed to ask. It reads like a conversation, rather than an essay, which enables Perry to turn childlike questions into something more philosophical, appealing to my enquiring mind. The title is dual purpose as the word ‘Playing’ demonstrates his belief that art should be seen and enjoyed by a wide and non-exclusive audience but it also toys with the idea of modern exhibitors needing to ‘play the…