The subjects’. (Miro, 2012). Grayson Perry comments:

 

 

The collection ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ by
Grayson Perry is a show of his exploration of our personal lives and reflects
the way in which we grew up in terms of social class. Grayson Perry is known
for always working with traditional materials such as bronze, cast iron, ceramics,
printmaking and for these pieces, tapestry. Tapestry is known to be the artwork
of large houses, and they tell stories of classical myths as well as religious
events, historic scenes and famous battles. Perry’s tapestry pieces use the
idea of documenting ancient events, but instead doing so with modern day
circumstances.

Much of the inspiration for the
pieces came from Grayson Perry’s ‘safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain’, referring
to Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds. He travelled this journey for
his TV show ‘All in the Best Possible Taste
with Grayson Perry’, which was first aired on Chanel 4 in May/June in 2012.  The collection
involves the construction of characters from those that he met, incidents and
objects that resembles his journey.

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 A lot of the inspiration came from William
Hogarth’s 18th century paintings called ‘A Rake’s Progress’, which is a series of eight paintings which tell
the story of young Tom Rakewell, who inherits a large sum of money from his
father. Unfortunately, the young man spends this money foolishly and spends it
on clothes and gambling. He then marries for money and loses this inheritance during
more gambling and ends up sentenced to debtor’s prison and dies in a
psychiatric hospital. Perry interlinks the story of Tom Rakewell into his
tapestries as well as his own experiences. ‘Hogarth has long
been an influence on Perry’s works, his Englishness, his robust humour and his
depiction of, in his own words, ‘modern moral subjects’.  (Miro, 2012).

Grayson Perry comments: “The tapestries tell the
story of class mobility, for I think nothing has as strong an influence on our
aesthetic taste as the social class in which we grow up.” He has a political
interest in consumerism and the history of popular design, but for these pieces
of work he solely focuses on “the emotional investment we make in the things we
choose to live with, wear, eat, read or drive.” He believes that our consideration
for our class and taste is set within our character, and that this “emotional
charge” is what draws him to the subject. 

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