Thursday, 24 December 2015

Grayson Perry’s Corrie comfort

Merry Christmas everybody - I hope you are having a fantastic festive time wherever in the world you are!

I am currently on holiday in Australia and a real highlight has been the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney where I viewed the Grayson Perry exhibition, ‘My Pretty Little Art Career’.

One piece that I found particularly striking was Perry’s ‘Comfort Blanket’, a tapestry first unveiled last year at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Taking the form of a £10 note, it depicts the rich tapestry of British life. It is so accurate that I almost felt homesick.

As I approached the installation, I wondered if Coronation Street would be one of the cultural markers used by Perry to define ‘Britishness’. And sure enough, I soon spotted the word CORRIE right below Cheddar and CURRY. Amazing!

When describing this work, Grayson Perry has said “you could lay it out for a national picnic”, imagining the Queen might have stitched the whole thing in front of her hissing gas fire, with her brass ornaments twinkling in the background, Corrie playing on the telly and The Hay Wain over the fireplace”.

I wonder if Grayson Perry really is a Corrie fan? If so, it would be fascinating to hear his views on the artistic merits of Deirdre’s pottery or Craig Tinker’s recent artistic endeavours; and to know what he made of the short-lived cross-dressing storyline involving Claud, Aud and Marc/Marcia!

I always think of Coronation Street as a comfort blanket within my own life. It has always been there. It reminds me of childhood. It reminds me of home. It makes me feel safe and warm. It is also bloody brilliant, of course. 

So, I’d better go and figure out how to watch Christmas Corrie over here in Australia. It’s just not Christmas without it!

By Martin Leay
You can follow Martin on Twitter @mpleay
You can listen to Martin on the Happy Sundays show on Croydon Radio

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