Turner Prize winner to launch festival

Published: 1 December 2015 at 13:42

Grayson Perry

Essex icon Grayson Perry CBE to give a public talk at Anglia Ruskin University

Untitled Pagehttp://essexbookfestival.org.uk/Social critic and award-winning artist Grayson Perry will launch the 2016 Essex Book Festival at Anglia Ruskin University in February.

The Chelmsford-born Turner Prize winner leads a line-up of famous faces who will participate in the celebration of books and culture across Essex, the only one of its kind in the UK.

Perry is best known for creating classically shaped vases covered with images and text that, from a distance, appear decorative and colourful, but which upon closer inspection reveal their dark and frequently disturbing subject matter, often influenced by his childhood experiences growing up in rural Essex. He is loyal to classical traditions of pottery, slowly building the clay layer by layer rather than using a potter’s wheel.

In 2003 Perry was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize and famously turned up to receive his award dressed as his alter-ego Claire, wearing a lilac dress and a ribbon in his hair. Since then, he has featured in a number of television appearances.

Perry, who received the title of Honorary Doctor of Arts from Anglia Ruskin University in 2012, will be welcomed by Anglia Ruskin’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Thorne, to the Chelmsford campus at 6pm on 29 February, where he will then give a talk about his work.

Tickets will be priced at £10 for adults and £6 for concessions.

Sian Burnett, Community Engagement Officer at Anglia Ruskin University, said:


“Grayson Perry is one of Essex’s most famous sons and we are looking forward to having him back on campus for what will be a fascinating talk. His experience of growing up in our county has had a huge influence on his career, making him the ideal choice to launch the 2016 Essex Book Festival.

“We are again proud that Anglia Ruskin University will play a big part in one of the UK’s leading arts festivals, with plenty of other fascinating events still to be announced.” 

Other confirmed speakers for the 2016 Essex Book Festival include politician Vince Cable, actor Simon Callow, broadcaster Peter Hennessey and authors including Josephine Cox, Rosie Thomas, Helen Dunmore and AN Wilson.

Anglia Ruskin is hosting several other events during the festival. The full programme will be launched at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, on January 6, at which point tickets will become available for all events. To keep up to date, visit http://www.essexbookfestival.org.uk