The new year has barely begun but already we have some fantastic news for Wrexham’s new markets, community and arts hub!

We’re delighted to announce that in February we’ll be welcoming a lavish and colourful exhibition from one of the UK’s most famous contemporary artists.

Grayson Perry is known for his ceramic art, in which traditional decorative forms reveal more complex narratives and irreverent political statements.

In 2003 he became the winner of the most publicised art award in the UK, the Turner Prize.

More recently he has reached an even wider audience through a series of television programmes including the Channel 4 documentaries, Divided Britain, Rites of Passage and Who Are You. He has also appeared as a guest on numerous television programmes, from Have I Got News For You to Question Time. 


Introducing Julie Cope…

The exhibition which will be on display at Tŷ Pawb is entitled Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry. 

It’s a Crafts Council touring exhibition, first presented at the Saatchi Gallery in London in February 2017.

Julie Cope is a fictional character created by Grayson Perry – an Essex everywoman whose story he has told through two large scale tapestries and an extended ballad presented in the exhibition.

The tapestries illustrate the key events in the heroine’s journey from her birth during the Canvey Island floods of 1953 to her untimely death in a tragic accident on a Colchester street. Rich in cultural and architectural details, the tapestries contain a social history of Essex and modern Britain that everyone can relate to.

The tapestries are shown alongside a graphic installation, and specially commissioned audio recording of The Ballad of Julie Cope, a 3000 word narrative written and read by Perry himself that illuminates Julie’s hopes and fears as she journeys through life.

These artworks represent, in Perry’s words, ‘the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of an average life’.

Historically, large-scale tapestry provided insulation for grand domestic interiors; Perry has juxtaposed its associations of status, wealth and heritage with the current concerns of class, social aspiration and taste.

A Young Visitors’ Guide, learning hand out with activities for families and an interactive app to explore the tapestries will be available as part of the exhibition.

A colourful and playful exhibition

Tŷ Pawb’s creative director, Jo Marsh, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to bring this exhibition to Wrexham. It’s colourful and playful and it incorporates themes and topics around history and society which are relevant to all of us and will hopefully inspire some very interesting discussions.

“It’s a very accessible exhibition that will appeal to audiences of all ages, particularly families and anyone who might be new to visiting galleries. We’ll be organising various activities around the exhibition and our staff will be on hand to help everyone get the most enjoyment from the works.”

World class art on our doorstep

Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships Public Protection and Community Safety, Cllr Hugh Jones, said: “This is another huge step forward in helping to put Tŷ Pawb and Wrexham on the map as an established destination for arts and culture.

“Despite not even being open a year yet, we’ve already had glowing reviews in national newspapers, received nominations for international awards, acted as a host for a live national BBC radio debate and hosted numerous successful exhibitions, festivals, and community events.

“It is fantastic that people in Wrexham are now able to access a national touring art exhibition of this calibre on their doorstep and we can be immensely proud that we now have a venue which can host world famous art of this kind alongside works from Wrexham’s own flourishing art scene.”

Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry will be on display at Tŷ Pawb from 23 February-22 April

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