Valentina Gomes dos Santos previews Grayson Perry’s new exhibition in Colchester
“What some would call an ordinary life, was now a snatch of badly printed news”. This is how relatable to an average and real life the journey of Julie Cope is, despite the fact that she is not real. Julie Cope is a fictional Essex woman character created by the English artist Grayson Perry. Through the figure of Julie, Perry translates the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of life, as well the history and different places in the Essex county. “The Life of Julie Cope” is a unique exhibition consisting of four tapestries that reveal the important moments of Julie’s life: from her birth in 1953 during the big flood, to her death in an accident on Colchester High Street at the age of 61.
“The exposition takes you in a trip through Essex as Julie’s life features places such as Canvey Island, Basildon, Chelmsford, Maldon and Colchester.”
The exposition takes you in a trip through Essex as Julie’s life features places such as Canvey Island, Basildon, Chelmsford, Maldon and Colchester. Julie had two children with her first husband Dave, who later on she would find that had an affair with a school teacher. After that doomed relationship, in order to take control of her life, she moved to the North of Essex and got married with Rob, a man she met while attending the University of Essex.
The life of Julie Cope is also now materialised in “A House for Essex”, a memorial to her life and also the manifestation of British culture and artistic and architectural history. The idea for its construction carried the recreation of a surreal gingerbread house in a way to match the style of Perry’s tapestries and ceramics. The House was designed by both Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture, and it is located at the Stour Estuary in Wrabness.
The exhibition “The Life of Julie Cope” is taking place at Firstsite in Colchester from the 18th of November 2017 to the 18th of February 2018, everyday from 10am to 5pm, and the admission is free. It is a great opportunity to acknowledge and enjoy local art and be amazed by the colours of Julie’s life.