Curator’s Tour: Grayson’s Art Club

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
Manchester Art Gallery

Curator's Tour: Grayson's Art Club, online, 4 April–30 June 2021, free entry - Visit now

Our galleries and museums may not be allowed to open their doors just yet, but for those craving a cultural hit, curators have stepped up and become more hands on with bringing their exhibits to the public. One recent and particularly enjoyable example of a curator’s tour is Manchester Art Gallery’s look at the personal, wonderful and collaborational collection in Grayson’s Art Club.

Grayson Perry, along with his wife Phillipa, has been championing the power of flexing that creative muscle

The sense of release, space for self expression and playfulness of making art is a perfect antidote to the lockdown blues. In the highly successful Channel 4 series Grayson Perry, along with his wife Phillipa, has been championing the power of flexing that creative muscle, regardless of your skill level and experience. In his weekly shows, celebrity guests and members of the public submitted works based on a poignant theme, a handful of these personal and thoughtful pieces were then selected to be part of a now touring exhibition.

We were gutted to find out that this inspiring collection of works, that perfectly sums up a shared experience, are on display at manchester art gallery at the same time as we are yet again, in the midst of a full lockdown. It does mean that the show has thankfully made a second series, but for those who were eagerly awaiting the chance to see these pieces in the flesh, we’ll have to wait till later in the year. However, Natasha Howes and Fiona Corridan, two of Manchester Art Gallery’s excellent curators, have produced a video tour of the pieces, which can be found on the Manchester Art Gallery Youtube channel.

Fiona and Natasha focus on the works which weren’t as heavily featured in the T.V. show. The curator’s tour gives you an insight into the technique and stories of pieces that go beyond the shallowness of zoom interviews. Each piece has such a strong sense of personal lived experience and the curation manages to sum up the breadth of british society, deftly expressing how every person has had a totally unique experience of the past year.

Manchester Art Gallery has a strong belief that art is part of a healthy society and it’s the responsibility of institutions to encourage anybody and everybody to bring the benefit of art into their lives. Throughout the tour, both curators explain how the materials in the pieces have been used and acquired, usually from household items or found objects, it makes art feel very accessible. The Gallery has also set up their own art club, where you can submit works for an online gallery. Check out the website for weekly themes and how to submit.

Curator's Tour: Grayson's Art Club, online

4 April–30 June 2021
Free entry

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