Grayson Perry exhibition opens tomorrow at the British Museum

18:37 05 October 2011

Take a short tour through Grayson Perry

Take a short tour through Grayson Perry's head (Ian Nicholson/PA Wire)

Grayson Perry has unveiled his latest exhibition, a collaboration with the British Museum he described as “a short tour through my head.”

He has chosen almost 200 objects from the museum’s vast collection to go on show alongside his own work in the exhibition called The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman.

Introducing the show to journalists, he said: “This is basically a short tour through my head.”

The Turner Prize winner added: “My qualification, if people try to catch me out and say ‘Why are you qualified to do this? What gives you the right?’, I suppose my right is I’ve been an artist for 30 years and I’ve done okay and that is not to be sniffed at.”

Among the objects he has chosen to go on display are prints and drawings, religious objects and coins as well as his brightly decorated motorcycle complete with a teddy bear on the back seat.

The centrepiece of the show is Perry’s new work, also called The Tomb of ohe Unknown Craftsman, which is a cast-iron ship covered in decorations and carrying a flint hand axe that is around 250,000 years old.

He said: “Of all the experiences in the two-and-a-half years that I’ve had in preparation for today being handed a box of million-year-old stone tools and being told ‘pick one of those up’ is an incredibly powerful, moving, visceral experience. It’s not intellectual and a tear came to my eye in that moment and that will linger with me.”

Perry, who found fame with his sexually explicit ceramics and often dresses as his female alter-ego Claire, said the exhibition showed him “with all my flaws, all my eccentricities and all my obsessions and perversities”.

The exhibition comes with a parental warning and there are adult themes and images in it.

Perry said: “I was very keen to put in things like that because we can get very hyperbolic and polarised about sexuality in this country and I think a lot of the time when people complain about sex, it’s not sex itself people are getting upset about, it’s violence, exploitation and sexism that are bound up with sex.”

The exhibition opens tomorrow and runs to February 19. Admission costs £10.

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