Grayson Perry, the Turner Prize winning artist has won the ‘Specialist Factual’ Bafta Award for his 2012 documentary on British taste. He came up to the stage, dressed as his alter ego Claire, to accept the award in a grey satin full length, Gatsby style dress, with matching shoulder-length gloves. He thanked the British public for allowing him into their homes stating; “People just don’t trust the telly anymore”.
‘In The Best Possible Taste’ was a documentary series produced by Channel 4, starring Perry. The series analyses the ideas of taste held by the different social classes in the United Kingdom. Perry who produced a series of six tapestries depicting the taste ideas of Britons, entitled “The Vanity of Small Difference.” is a well known figure on the London art scene.
In his journey to explore what our taste says about us, Grayson Perry lived amongst the upper classes of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, and met The Marquess of Bath and Longleat and bohemian Detmar Blow.
‘A sucker,’ as he admits, ‘for a crumbly old stately home,’ Grayson is interested in analysing the continuing hold that upper-class taste still has on the British imagination, and wanted to know whether it’s still something the rest of us should aspire to.
He found that upper-class taste can be as much a burden as a blessing. The reverence of the people he met for tradition, ancestral inheritance and appropriateness made Grayson wonder whether that made it more difficult to develop taste of their own.
Turning instead to the ‘new money’ incomers who are increasingly buying up the Cotswolds stately homes, he asked why we assume that their taste is somehow worse than the old aristocrats’ taste.
Finally, Grayson invited all of the contributors that he met to the unveiling of the tapestries he created about their taste.