Grayson Perry ‘Life of Julie Cope’ Portraiture workshop

Grayson Perry ‘Life of Julie Cope’ Portraiture workshop
February 24, 2018 jane

Grayson Perry Portraiture workshop December 2nd 2017

Part of the ‘Life of Julie Cope’ outreach programme commissioned by Firstsite


panorama firstsite copy

Inspired by traditional storytelling and the structures of folklore, Perry has developed a whole life for a fictional Essex girl, Julie Cope. This ambitious project is described by The Crafts Council, on their website as contemporary social portraiture.

‘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.’

To celebrate the exhibition, this intensive practical drawing workshop began with a group tour of the exhibition and an opportunity for participants to explore how Perry weaves his visual narrative through his characteristic style of drawing, composition and flamboyant use of colour.
Back in the studio, participants developed their own distinctive fictional characters using the parlour game technique of ‘Exquisite Corpse’, and then brought them to life through the innovative use of unpredictable wet drawing and collaging processes.
Working larger than life; they experimented with projection and layering processes and concluded the session by displaying their colourful characters in the fabulous Firstsite Learning studios, each one having their own diverse and fascinating stories to tell.

Grayson Perry workshop


Excerpt from The Crafts Council website