This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Embroidery Edition of 250
H 32cm x W 45cm
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This beautiful embroidery from 2011 is a limited edition of 250 from Grayson Perry’s Embroidery collection. The horizontal embroidery is visually intricate. The representation is dominated by the central figure of a yellow monster-like figure wearing a full set of regalia, a medal of honour on his chest and an armband with a sword hanging on its side. The yellow figure in turn seems to be embracing several smaller religious symbols, from pious faithful to a small mosque and a church. On the left corner, Perry placed a washed-done version of the British flag using lighter tones.
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.
The highest value realised for a work by Grayson Perry was in October 2017, when I Want To Be An Artist fetched £632,750 at Christie's, London. The values achieved for Perry's work at auction regularly land in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.