Grayson Perry pot goes on display at Aberdeen Art Gallery

Installation view of Alan Measles and Claire Under an English Moon, 2023 © Grayson Perry. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

A STRIKING ceramic pot by renowned artist Grayson Perry has gone on display for the first time at Aberdeen Art Gallery. The purchase has been supported by grants from Art Fund, Aberdeen Art Gallery Trusts and the National Fund for Acquisitions.

Flamboyant, forthright and funny, Sir Grayson Perry is one of Britain’s most celebrated artists. Winner of the Turner Prize in 2003, he is also a BAFTA-winning TV presenter, Reith Lecturer and bestselling author. His television series Grayson’s Art Club was a source of inspiration, creativity and joy for many during the uncertainty of the Covid-19 lockdowns. His one-man production A Show All About You played to a sell-out audience at Aberdeen’s Music Hall in November 2023.

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This newly-acquired pot, entitled Alan Measles and Claire Under an English Moon, was part of Smash Hits, the biggest exhibition of Perry’s work to date, at the National Gallery of Scotland in 2023. The pot features Perry’s childhood teddy bear, Alan Measles, and the artist’s alter ego, Claire.

Popular and provocative, Perry makes art that deals with complex and difficult ideas in an accessible and often funny way. He takes on big issues that are universally human, including masculinity, sexuality, class, religion and politics. Working with traditional artforms including ceramics, tapestry and printmaking, Perry addresses the controversial issues of our times with sharp wit and social commentary. His celebrity status and thought-provoking ceramics have been instrumental in elevating the status of pottery, once dismissed by the art world as a lowly ‘craft’.

Councillor Martin Greig, culture spokesman for Aberdeen City Council, said: “Sir Grayson Perry’s pots are highly sought after and Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums is pleased to have secured this prestigious artwork for the city’s collection. We hope visitors will enjoy this work by one of the country’s most celebrated artists.”

Jenny Waldman, Director, Art Fund, said: “Grayson Perry brings joy to gallery visitors through his engaging and accessible art. We were honoured to have him present the winning prize at our Museum of the Year ceremony last year, and were pleased to see the huge success of his retrospective at the National Gallery of Scotland. It’s thanks to our National Art Pass members and donors that we’ve been able to support Aberdeen Art Gallery to acquire one of the marvellous pots from the show for its permanent collection, where it will delight and inspire visitors for years to come.”

Dr Hazel Williamson, National Fund for Acquisitions Manager, said: “We’re delighted to support the opportunity to bring this fabulous example of the work of Grayson Perry, one of the UK’s most innovative and popular artists, to audiences in Aberdeen, where it is a wonderful addition to the Gallery’s important ceramics collection.”

Aberdeen Art Gallery has a strong track record and commitment to collecting craft and applied art, including ceramics. Also part of this Spotlight display are examples from the Sandy Dunbar Studio Ceramics collection of hundreds of pieces by esteemed studio potters which was acquired in 2023. The collection will be featured in a new interactive display which is due to open in 2025 at the Art Gallery.

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