Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry, winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, uses the seductive qualities of ceramics and other art forms to make stealthy comments about societal injustices and hypocrisies, and to explore a variety of historical and contemporary themes. The beauty of his work is what draws us close. Covered with sgraffito drawings, handwritten and stencilled texts, photographic transfers and rich glazes, Perry's detailed pots are deeply alluring. Only when we are up close do we start to absorb narratives that might allude to dark subjects such as environmental disaster or child abuse, and even then the narrative flow can be hard to discern.

The disparity between form and content and the relationship between the pots and the images that decorate them is perhaps the most challenging incongruity of Perry's work. Yet, beyond the initial shock of an apparently benign or conservative medium carrying challenging ideas, what keeps us drawn to the work is its variety.

Perry is a great chronicler of contemporary life, drawing us in with wit, affecting sentiment and nostalgia as well as fear and anger. Autobiographical references - to the artist's childhood, his family and his transvestite alter ego Claire - can be read in tandem with debates about décor and decorum and the status of the artist versus that of the artisan, debates which Perry turns on their head.

Winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, Grayson Perry was born in Chelmsford, Essex in 1960 and currently lives and works in London. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, presents a major retrospective of his work from December 2015 to May 2016; this will follow a solo show at Turner Contemporary, Margate, opening this May. The artist has previously had major solo exhibitions nationally and internationally at venues including Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2008); 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2007); Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2006); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2002) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002). Perry has also curated three exhibitions, most recently the well-received Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman at the British Museum in 2011, in which he combined his own works with historical artefacts from the British Museum collection. Preceding this were Unpopular Culture, de la Warr Pavilion (then touring) (2008), and The Charms of Lincolnshire, The Collection, Lincoln (2006).

The Vanity of Small Differences, Perry's monumental suite of tapestries, are currently on a national and international tour led by the Arts Council Collection and British Council; their making was chronicled in his BAFTA winning Channel 4 series In the Best Possible Taste. A second Channel 4 series broadcast in October last year: Grayson Perry: Who Are You? is accompanied by a solo presentation of works on the theme of portraiture and British identity on view  at the National Portrait Gallery, London until March 15 2015. In 2013, the year he was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, he delivered The Reith Lectures, BBC Radio 4's annual flagship talk series by leading international thinkers, to widespread acclaim. Penguin publishes Playing to the Gallery, his ensuing book.

Modern Family, 2014
Glazed ceramic, 44.5 h x 26 cm diameter 17 1/2 h x 10 1/4 in diameter