Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Grayson Perry's Dream House: no drabness in Wrabness

Enjoyed Grayson Perry's Dream House on Channel 4, which was one long homage to Essex. Grayson wore a pink jacket with "Essex" embroidered on the back as he won over the residents  of Wrabness with his plan to create an "Essex Taj Mahal". The house he builds is a cross between Hansel and Gretel and a Catholic Church. It celebrates Julie May Cope, a fictional Essex Woman who was married twice and died after being hit by a pizza delivery bike. The most enjoyable moment is when Grayson gets a gang of real-life Essex Julies on bikes and persuades then to pedal round Julie's life path, from Canvey Island to a tower block in Basildon and then being hit by a dodgy pizza boy in Colchester. His Julies have a surprising amount of empathy for his dream house and the artist himself looks pretty tearful as he confronts his problematic relationship with his mother. The documentary also shows how open-minded people in Essex can be; geezer builders buy into a fantasy house created by a metropolitan transvestite while the posher residents of Wrabness seem quite content to have a massive goddess with huge yellow breasts topping Grayson's fantasy structure. Time for a pilgrimage to Wrabness.

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