Banbury Museum has announced that it will be the first port of call for two large scale tapestries from Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry to go on display.
The Essex House Tapestries: the Life of Julie Cope (2015) will be on display at the museum from March 11 and are the only pair in a public collection that can be viewed outside the Essex House for which they were originally commissioned.
Julie Cope is an fictional character created by Mr Perry as an amalgam of the people he grew up with and whose story is told within the tapestries.
Banbury Museum is the first venue of the exhibition’s two-year national tour following its launch at the Saatchi Gallery in London.
Simon Townsend, director of Banbury Museum, said: “We are delighted to exhibit this work by Grayson Perry.
“Through the Art Fund, the Crafts Council were able to purchase these tapestries; we are enormously proud to bring this significant work to Banbury, the first venue in a national tour.”
The two tapestries are being displayed alongside a graphic installation and a specially commissioned audio recording of The Ballad of Julie Cope, written and read by Mr Perry that illuminates Julie’s hopes and fears as she journeys through life.
Mr Perry said: “Tapestry is the art form of grand houses. On my television taste safari I only saw tapestries hanging in stately homes.
“They depicted classical myths, historical and religious scenes or epic battles like Hannibal crossing the Alps. I enjoy the idea of using this costly and ancient medium to show the commonplace dramas of modern British life.”
The exhibition runs from March 13 until May 13.