Location: Abbot Hall Kendal

Julie Cope is a fictional character created by artist Grayson Perry – an Essex everywoman whose story he has told through the two tapestries and extended ballad presented in this Crafts Council touring exhibition. The Essex House Tapestries: The Life of Julie Cope (2015) illustrate the key events in the heroine’s journey from her birth during the Canvey Island floods of 1953 to her untimely death in a tragic accident on a Colchester street. Rich in cultural and architectural details, the tapestries contain a social history of Essex and modern Britain that everyone can relate to.

The tapestries are shown alongside a graphic installation, and specially commissioned audio recording of The Ballad of Julie Cope, a 3000 word narrative written and read by Perry himself that illuminates Julie’s hopes and fears as she journeys through life.

These artworks represent, in Perry’s words, ‘the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of an average life’. Historically, tapestries provided insulation for grand domestic interiors; Perry has juxtaposed its associations of status, wealth and heritage with the current concerns of class, social aspiration and taste. To write Julie’s biography, he looked to the English ballad and folktale tradition, narrating a life that conveys the beauty, vibrancy and contradictions of the ordinary individual.

Also running at Blackwell is a small display of Perry’s ceramics. The Spotlight loan is on show from 21 September 2018 until February 2019.

The exhibition is supported by the Crafts Council and Art Fund.

Kindly sponsored by Rathbones

Some other events in January 2019

Wednesday 9th January 2019 7:30pm

Tree & Woodland Health in Cumbria

History Society logo
Wednesday 16th January 2019 7:30pm

History Society – The Must Farm Pile-dwelling

Archaeological investigations of a Bronze Age Fenland settlement – speaker Fiona Robinson Zeki

View details >
Every care has been taken in compiling our events list and we believe the information to be correct but we cannot accept responsibility for any inconvenience or expense arising from its use. We suggest that you confirm details and prices directly with the event organiser if you require definitive details.