Grayson’s Art Club

Bringing the nation together through art

During lockdown, Grayson Perry, one of Britain’s foremost artists, brought the nation together through art, helping them to unleash their collective creativity as part of his Channel 4 TV series.

Every week, he hosted the show from his own studio – taking the country with him as he created his own new art works. Grayson and his wife Philippa talked to other famous artists and creatives about how they were spending their time in isolation and invited them to make their own works in response to this unprecedented crisis. Each week a different theme – portraits, animals, fantasy, view from my window, home, Britain – was explored.

A key element of the series was Grayson asking members of the public to send him their own artworks which they had been making at home, talking to them via video calls and choosing his favourite artworks. He received nearly 10,000 entries, an overwhelming response to his call out. The variety of entries – using canvas, paper, photography, sculpture and mixed media – showed the imagination, skill and creativity of the nation. These works, alongside those of Grayson Perry, Philippa Perry and the invited artists and celebrities, will be on show in the exhibition.

Many people sought solace in making art and expressed themselves with humour, pathos and imagination, encapsulating life under lockdown. The programme clearly demonstrates the way people use art as an essential part of their lives. Art Club’s ethos chimes with that of Manchester Art Gallery, promoting art for the health of society and as an art school for everyone. This exhibition will help the Gallery rebuild itself after the devastation of the last months, whilst also playing a key part in the re-building of society post-Covid, bringing life and soul back into the city.

Alongside the public’s artworks, the exhibition will feature pieces by celebrities Jenny Eclair, Noel Fielding, Harry Hill, Jessica Hynes, Joe Lycett, Kevin McLeod, Jim Moir (aka Vic Reeves), Liza Tarbuck, and artists Jeremy Deller, Antony Gormley, Maggi Hambling, Chantal Joffe, Martin Parr, Raqib Shaw, David Shrigley and the Singh Twins.

Exhibition supported by Channel 4 and Swan Films

The Manchester Contemporary Art Fund is also delighted to support this exhibition.