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Hold Your Beliefs Lightly

Hold Your Beliefs Lightly
Embroidery

Grayson Perry

Embroidery, 2011
Embroidery Edition of 250
H 32cm x W 45cm

Critical Review

The artist displayed this work at an exhibition held in 2020 at the British Museum, entitled ‘Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’. Like in many of his other works, for Hold Your Beliefs Lightly Perry appealed once again to his world of vibrant and vivid colours and his manifold of symbols, which he weaves together with social issues such as identity, class and consumerism, as exemplified by works like The Vanity Of Small Differences or Map Of Nowhere. For this tapestry, Perry focused on the existential question of religion. In a recent interview, the artist declared: “I am like I kind of holy fool, so I make mad visions of my own personal religion. If people ask me what I believe in I say gravity because anybody can say anything against gravity and I would still trust it … whereas if you say ‘your religion is wrong’, it’s attacking people’s feelings.” Through this statement, the tapestry’s message comes to light as a cheerful invitation to appreciate the diversity of faiths dominant in Britain, demonstrated by the all-encompassing regal figure, whilst also keeping a certain discretion and perhaps humour in discussing religious matters, as exemplified by Perry’s humorous take on his religious beliefs.