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Grayson Perry artwork to go on show

Grayson Perry Credit: PA

There will be a rare chance to see a vibrant tapestry by artist Grayson Perry when it goes on show at the National Trust’s Castle Drogo from Monday 7 March.

The 15 feet wide Map of Truths and Beliefs, was created by Perry in 2011 for his popular Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman exhibition at The British Museum.

Grayson Perry's stunning tapestry goes on show in Devon next month Credit: National Trust

Perry’s work, created in the style of a map with the Great Eye in the Centre, is a depiction of the clash of everyday and spiritual pilgrimages - from Stonehenge to Graceland. His favourite teddy, Alan Measles, can be spotted in the centre of the eye.

I wanted to make a sort of altarpiece, a map of heaven. I looked at the floor plan of the British Museum as a mandala, and added all the different terms I could find for the afterlife.

The charge of it is in the clash of the prosaic and the spiritual. I was thinking of pilgrimage in a wider, non- religious sense, so I included places of pilgrimage that I’d googled. Most are religious but many are historical and secular.

– Grayson Perry

It may have been drawn by the artist but it was made using modern digital methods. It was created on a Belgian loom in just one day.

It will form part of the new Truth and Triomphe exhibition at the castle. Perry’s tapestry will be hung alongside "Char de Triomphe", a French masterpiece made for King Louis XIV. In contrast this took six people three years to weave by hand.

One day
Time taken for one loom to create Grayson Perry's tapestry
3 years
Time taken by six people to weave the Char de Triomphe
Grayson Perry's tapestry will be on display with the 300-year-old masterpiece Credit: National Trust

The exhibition is providing a rare opportunity for members of the public to compare and contrast the historic and contemporary methods, symbolism and making of both tapestries.

The Char de Triomphe also contains a wealth of symbolism, placing the sun, Louis XIV’s personal symbol, at the centre of the tapestry.

Grayson's tapestry is going on display as a result of a chance conversation between friends, who kindly offered to let it be hung with the Char de Triomphe, which is part of Castle Drogo's collection.

We are delighted to have this opportunity to stimulate discussion about the medium of tapestry and how contemporary art allows us to see historic objects with new eyes.

– Bryher Mason, House and Collections Manager at Castle Drogo

Both tapestries will be on show at Castle Drogo from Monday 7 March until the end of October 2016.