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Grayson Perry: Essex House Tapestries - The Life of Julie Cope


The Arc

The Gallery is excited to see the return of artist Grayson Perry, as part of a special tour.

#Art #Arts & Culture



March 15th 2024 - June 12th 2024

Event details

Address:The Arc
Jewry Street

Postcode:SO23 8SB

Tickets:Adult: £4.50, Concession: £3.50, Child (Under 16): £2.50


Open hours:5 Mar - 12 Jun, during Arc opening hours.


article thumb - grayson perry the arc hcc

Two exquisite tapestries tell the life story of Julie Cope, a fictional character created by artist Grayson Perry. The tapestries illustrate key events in the heroine’s journey - the first, titled A Perfect Match, portrays Julie’s early years from birth to marriage. Her later years, second marriage and death in a tragic accident are depicted in In its Familiarity, Golden. Rich in cultural and architectural details, the tapestries contain a social history of modern Britain that everyone can relate to. 

[The tapestries] are the condensed life of a fairly ordinary Essex Woman set mainly in the second half of the twentieth century. The way the world is going, in fifty years time many may find Julie’s life that we see as fairly ordinary, as one of plentiful opportunity and exceptional wealth. - GRAYSON PERRY

The tapestries are shown alongside a specially commissioned audio recording of The Ballad of Julie Cope, a 3,000 word narrative written and read by Perry himself that illuminates Julie’s hopes and fears as she journeys through life.  

The tapestries were created for A House for Essex - a house designed by Perry for the Living Architecture project. The first edition of the work hangs in the house and this second set is being toured by the Crafts Council to be seen more widely. 

Please note, the Gallery will be closed for a private event on Thursday 2 May, 3-5pm. We apologise for any inconvenience. 

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