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Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences

Tuesday 18 May – Saturday 3 July 2021 | Free entry

We welcome you back to East GalleryNUA in this Arts Council Collection National Partner Programme Exhibition by Grayson Perry.

Book a slot (opens in a new window)

Perry’s large-scale tapestries were inspired by William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress and chart a “class journey” through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells, and The Cotswolds for the television series All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry, first aired on Channel 4 in June 2012.

In the series, Perry “goes on safari” to gather inspiration for his artwork; weaving the characters he meets into a narrative, with an attention to the minutiae of contemporary taste every bit as acute as that in Hogarth’s 18th century paintings.

Each measuring 2m x 4m, the tapestries take on an art form traditionally associated with grand houses—depicting classical myths, historical and religious scenes, and epic battles.

They play with the idea of using this ancient allegorical art to elevate the commonplace dramas of modern British life. Politics, consumerism, history, and art history are bound up in the work, in both subject and medium.

The exhibition is the first at East GalleryNUA since March 2020 and is part of the Arts Council Collection National Partner Programme. The exhibition will follow social distancing guidelines with limited admission, booked in advance.

East Gallery is a Covid-safe environment and will be operating in the following ways to limit risk:

  • Access to the gallery is now bookable online.
  • Access is limited to 6 visitors per 30 minutes (or 8 if with a school group).
  • All visitors to the gallery will be encouraged to sign-in to the government track and trace system using the QR code at the entrance, or confirm their booking details can be used for contact, should it be necessary.
  • All visitors will be encouraged to use the hand sanitizer provided upon arrival.
  • All visitors must wear a protective face covering, unless exempt.
  • Visitors should follow the one-way route around the exhibition, marked by chevron arrows on the floor.
  • No touching is allowed in the gallery. Books and cards are for sale and will be kept behind the desk to avoid cross-contamination.

Visit Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences

We’d love to welcome you to our first exhibition since the 2020 Lockdown. 

Tuesday – Friday


East GalleryNUA
Cavendish House
St Andrews Street

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  • – Campus Building