Grayson Perry inspires at Muswell Hill school

Turner Prize-winning artist and transvestite potter Grayson Perry OBE visited a Muswell Hill school to speak about how identity can be expressed through art.

Grayson Perry said that “coolness was the enemy of creativity” and that “the most important skill for people in life is to be able to change” when he addressed an audience of 15-17 year olds from Fortismere and other local schools.

The 55-year-old potter, tapestry-maker, curator, writer and presenter spoke about the inspiration behind some of his most famous artworks.

He described how marketing was invading our brains and that “brands are like modern gods.”

Delving into identity, Grayson Perry argued that it was an illusion that we are all individuals. We are all more alike than we know, he suggested.


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The artist spoke about how long it can take to become a ‘successful’ artist. He said that persistence was vital, as is ‘having a go’.

He reassured the audience that it can take a long time to find your voice, but it’s a worthwhile lifelong pursuit.

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Grayson Perry took a number of questions from the students present, including giving advice to those suffering a creative block (“go and do something else for a while”), but stopped short of revealing who his favourite artist is (“I don’t do favourites; I change my mind all the time”) .

Grayson’s Channel 4 series, Who Are You?, begins later in October and there is an accompanying display at the National Portrait Gallery.

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