A fabulous exhibition by the artist and TV star Grayson Perry opens at Salisbury Cathedral on Wednesday 29 June. Called The Vanity of Small Differences, the series of six huge (2m x 4m) tapestries charts the upwardly mobile life of a character called Tim Rakewell and explores the subject of taste and social mobility.
Each tapestry includes characters, incidents and objects observed and drawn from journeys made by the artist in 2012, when he travelled through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds filming the Channel 4 series All in the Best Possible Taste.
The inspiration behind the tapestries is William Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress and Grayson’s character Tim Rakewell is a wry reference to Tom Rakewell, Hogarth’s protagonist. Cleverly and unflinchingly, the artist exposes layers of unconscious taste or bias in the scenes and individuals he portrays. References to classical art and religious painting also inform the work, bringing, in some cases, a reverence to an otherwise mundane scene or adding an extra layer of meaning.
The exhibition comes by courtesy of the Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre London and British Council, and by gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from AlixPartners. Find out more at salisburycathedral.org.uk
IMAGE: The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal 2012 - Grayson Perry - The Vanity of Small Differences Image courtesy of the Arts Council Collection