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An example of Grayson Perry pottery.

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Holburne and Grayson Perry would like to reunite the early works, those created between 1983-94, that first made his name. The resulting show will shine a light on Perry’s experimentation in ceramics and exploration of the medium’s potential.

However, there’s just one problem. Many of the artist’s earliest works were unrecorded at the time, and throughout the decades their exact whereabouts have become unknown. A number of works may have changed hands or perhaps have been passed down to the next generation.

That is why we are appealing to your readers to get in touch if they have one of these early works and would be happy for it to be considered for an exhibition in 2020.

The Perry view

Grayson Perry says: “When I started out making ceramics at evening classes, part of the reason I enjoyed it was that I could make artworks relatively quickly. In my first decade of exhibiting I would often show over 60 or 70 works, made over the course of a few months. I sold these works for modest sums and often gave away what was left.
“I was terrible at admin and photography so kept very little record of these early pieces. Most of these works were exhibited in London, though I also had shows in this period in Paris, New York and San Antonio, Texas.
“I was very excited when the Holburne Museum proposed a show of my ceramics from the eighties and early nineties as it would also be an opportunity to find and record the beginnings of my career.
“My record keeping hasn’t improved much: I recently moved house and found five pots in the loft which had been unseen since the eighties and a dozen plates from the early nineties in a cupboard under a sink!”

Rich collection

This is the first time the museum has mounted an exhibition of this kind and sourced the exhibits in this way. It is the ideal venue to take on this task, having a rich collection of historic ceramics from English and French porcelain to Italian maiolica and Chinese and Japanese ware.

There is a way of checking if a work is a genuine Grayson Perry: every single one of Perry’s ceramics has a potter’s mark. There are 39 individual ones he used between 1983-94, so the museum will be able to quickly check if a work is authentic.

Please email curator@holburne.org and put ‘Grayson Perry Lost Works’ in the subject line.

Catrin Jones

Holburne curator