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grayson perry's reith lectures

I'm a big fan of artist Grayson Perry, who has been delivering a series of four lectures on BBC Radio 4, called The Reith Lectures. Today's lecture was so good that I made Stuart listen... and then drew a picture of him in our lounge, musing on the subject:

Go listen to the four talks if you can. Grayson Perry is a rare combination of so many good things: a proper hard-working craftsman, an innovator, a good speaker with a sense of humour, a businessman, a very sensible person, and a showman with a wonderful sense of dramatic flair. A lot of what he says applies to working in the field of illustration, and I might write more about that later. But for now, just go have a listen. (You can even read the transcripts online, but the audio versions are more fun.)

You can also read an earlier blog post I made about Grayson's exhibition of tapestries, The Vanity of Small Differences. I would SO love to do a project or a children's book stage event with the guy some day, but I would need a few months to get my frock and hat together, so as not to be upstaged. Oh, the flouncing!

I met Grayson once and spoke with him briefly about his tapestries; I hadn't actually gone to see him, but his wife, Philippa Perry, for the launch of her book How to Stay Sane. (She'd previously written a comic book, which was how I knew of her.) I had a funny moment of self-realisation, that I wasn't as socially adept as I thought I was. I'd been so used to swanning into children's book events and knowing lots of people, and everyone being super-friendly, mucking about drawing pictures of bums and farts, air-kissing - la la la - that I started to assume all events would be like that. I was so confident that I didn't take a friend, and wore a rather ridiculous dress. When I got to the bookshop, I realised that the only person I knew (a little bit) was Philippa, and of course you can't monopolise someone at their own launch. And everyone else seemed to be nervous middle-aged women who absolutely didn't want to talk with me. It was very humbling. I got my signed copy and after about ten minutes of attempting chit-chat with uninterested strangers, raced off, back to cosy children's book world. ...Ha ha, I'll do better next time I go to a serious book event for grownups. (You can follow Philippa on Twitter at @Philippa_Perry.)


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2013 08:23 am (UTC)
Yes the Reith Lectures have been brilliant! I'm impressed by how much factual detail and amusing anecdotes back up his train of thought. That would seem to indicate that he's not only an artist, but also an excellent researcher AND he speaks extraordinarily well. And he's a comedian. That seems very unfair in just one person! :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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