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Grayson Perry offers a head for Brexit
Grayson Perry's latest sculpture, Restituted British Head, is a nod to what it means to be British as Brexit is upon us.
Whilst Head of a Fallen Giant, his sculpture of a decade ago, was nostalgic, this one tackles Britishness head-on (pardon the pun). As we deploy the xenophobic-influenced economic suicide of Brexit, Perry has created a sculpture made of iron and ceramic, and donated it to the Terrence Higgins Trust.
The head also follows up on Perry's "Brexit vases" of 2017, which contained themes based on what people love about Britain. Those vases, of which one was for Remainers and one for Leavers, featured themes including teapots (Who uses teapots any more? - Ed), walking the dog, and going to the pub. The point which Perry made, perhaps unknowingly during their conception, was that the vases were remarkably similar in tone and content.
Perhaps surprisingly, Brexit has been something of a muse for me – a big, messy source of inspiration. I've always been fascinated by national identity and why it's so important to some and so unimportant to others.
Brexit and all that's happened in the last three years has made us all think more deeply about 'Britishness' and Restituted British Head is an exploration of that – the good, the bad and the ugly.
The head was auctioned yesterday by Christie's to raise funds for the Trust, who (you probably know this) have done fine, fine work - brave work over the years in supporting people living with HIV.