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Signed Print Edition of 68
H 72cm x W 49cm
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This signed woodcut from 2015 is a limited edition of 68 from Grayson Perry’s Six Snapshots of Julie series. The vertical print shows the main character of Perry’s visual saga, Julie Cope, as a middle-aged tourist wearing traditional Indian attire posing in front of the Taj Mahal.
The work belongs to a broader series of woodcuts made by Perry in 2015 in which the artist experimented for the first time with this traditional printmaking technique. The series, then expanded through other media such as tapestries, follows the life and early demise of Julie, an ordinary woman born and raised in Essex who decides to move to London to pursue her career, and ends up falling in love, twice, and starts a family.
This piece follows Julie’s premature death, the circumstances of which are intentionally left vague by Perry, who nevertheless stated that the motorcycle in Untitled 2 is a precursory to the character’s passing. The piece represents a picture Julie’s late husband found in his pocket upon his wife’s passing, as he nostalgically remembers his promise to “grieve [for her] as deep as Shah Jahan / And build a Taj Mahal upon the Stour”. Forever immortalised in this picture standing in front of the Indian landmark, Julie appears serene and content, whilst the circumstances around the woodcut remind the viewer of her tragic fate.
Following this series, Perry continued his storytelling through new media, using Julie as the main character for some of his tapestries, and even a podcast entitled The Ballad Of Julie Cope, which made Julie one of the artist’s most instantly recognisable characters.