Grayson Perry launches Channel 4 Art Club to 'battle the boredom' of lockdown

Artist will have guests including Vic Reeves and Antony Gormley to encourage Britons to get creative while at home

Antony Gormley, Tacita Dean and Vic Reeves are among the guests that Grayson Perry is inviting, via video call, into his workshop as he encourages the UK to think creatively while in isolation on a new Channel 4 show.

Grayson’s Art Club launches on Monday with Perry promising to help “battle the boredom” and take viewers “on a journey of art discovery” with a six-part series of themed shows where the British public is encouraged to create their own work.

The first episode’s theme is “portrait” and will feature the American-born English artist Chantal Joffe who is known for her large-scale figurative paintings and the comedian Joe Lycett, who recently changed his name to Hugo Boss, and has taken up portraiture during the lockdown.

The second episode will be animal themed, with Maggi Hambling, the British painter and sculptor, and Harry Hill joining Perry to explain their animal artwork, artistic practice and how they have been creating work during the lockdown.

Guests for the third episode will be the actor and comedian Jessica Hynes and the British sculptor Antony Gormley, while the fourth episode will feature the artist Tacita Dean and comedian Vic Reeves. Other guests are to be confirmed.

The series will conclude with artworks made in isolation by members of the public and Perry’s guests, which will form the basis of an exhibition that will “chronicle Britain’s mood and creativeness in isolation”.

Grayson’s Art Club is one of several interactive artistic responses to the Covid-19 crisis such as #isolationartschool, the free Instagram academy founded in mid March by Keith Tyson, with the aim of putting “together creatives and those who want to learn”. And #artistsupportpledge, started by Matthew Burrows to provide a platform for artists to share and sell their work. Artists who have participated include the photographer David Bailey who gave a painting demonstration in his garden; the illustrator Quentin Blake was watched by more than 100,000 people as he drew on a park bench, while Polly Morgan led a tutorial on how to make figure casts out of household materials.

Gormley and Perry had previously signed up to help design the “ultimate artists’ activity pack”, which is a a downloadable artist activity pack aimed at entertaining and engaging children and young people during the lockdown.

Other artists involved in the project include Michael Landy who suggested children find something in their house they can take apart and get an adult to put it back together again, while Turner prize winner Mark Wallinger wants people to trace their hands.

• Grayson’s Art Club starts Monday 27 April, 8pm on Channel 4

• This article was amended on 29 April 2020. An earlier version said that #isolationartschool was founded by Matthew Burrows and Keith Tyson. This has been corrected to say that Tyson started #isolationartschool, and Burrows started #artistsupportpledge.


Lanre Bakare Arts and culture correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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