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Mixed Media, 2014
Mixed Media Edition of 20
H 120cm x W 100cm
Own this artwork?
Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This embroidery from 2014 is a rare limited edition of 20 from Grayson Perry’s Embroidery collection. The vertical embroidery shows five men riding a light blue horse that wears the British Royal Crown, while the sun rises on a bright pink background. The scene is framed by a British flag on the top left corner of the piece and a sign that reads Britain Is Best, from which the work takes its title.
The artist made the embroidery after filming his tv series Who Are You in Belfast and was inspired by a gathering of Unionists marching across the streets celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Ulster Volunteer Forces. An eclectic mind, Perry is known for working across media and practices, ranging from tv to art to podcasts, and for weaving the stories and characters he encounters throughout into his pieces, as exemplified by The Vanity Of Small Differences. In this case, the artwork constitutes a playful and whimsical visual translation of the artist’s own experience with the Unionists. He commented that whilst touched, the artist could not help but find a certain degree of irony in this patriotic scene, claiming that being extremely patriotic is, in fact, not a British trait. With this in mind, Perry envisioned an artwork that could work like a flag or a banner to be carried out across the marches.
As per his distinctive style, Perry’s work mixes several ironic elements with cheerful colours, while simultaneously retaining the social and political message and content that distinguishes Perry’s unique practice from any other.