A MAJOR exhibition of large-scale striking tapestries by Turner-prize winning artist Grayson Perry opens at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester from May 20.

Recently acquired by the Crafts Council as an exciting new addition to its National Collection of contemporary craft, The Essex House Tapestries: the life of Julie Cope (2015) were made for ‘A House for Essex,’ designed by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture.

The house was conceived as a mausoleum to Julie Cope, a fictitious Essex ‘everywoman’ whose experiences audiences throughout the country can relate to.

Julie is the central character of The Ballad of Julie Cope, written by Perry and inspired by the people he grew up among.

This touring exhibition features the only pair of these tapestries in a public collection, and tell Julie's story through Perry's recognisably vibrant and detail-orientated style.

As the only chance to read and hear the ballad outside of the House for Essex, audiences will be able to explore ideas of regional identity, the effect of social history on the individual, and class mobility, through her journey.

The tapestries have been shown at the Saatchi Gallery, London and will be on display in Cirencester for two months.

  • Julie Cope's Grand Tour: The Story of A Life By Grayson Perry is at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester from May 20 to July 16. Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm. Sunday 10am-4pm. Admission free.
  • newbreweryarts.org.uk/grayson-perry