Frocks belonging to cross-dressing, Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry are going on display at the Walker Art Gallery from next weekend in the first show of its kind in the UK.
Making Himself Claire: Grayson Perry’s Dresses opens on November 4.
A dozen dresses will be exhibited in the free display, including the Bo Peep outfit that Perry wore when he won the Turner Prize.
The show explores the 57-year-old’s lifelong interest in cross-dressing.
Since 2004 Perry, whose flamboyant female alter ego is Claire, has mostly worn frocks designed by students at Central St Martin’s in London, who take part in an annual competition to create new designs for prizes awarded by the artist.
As he says: “I encourage them to make the dresses as bizarre and exciting as they can.”
National Museums Liverpool’s senior curator of decorative arts, Pauline Rushton, says: “Visitors who enjoyed Grayson Perry’s touring exhibition The Vanity of Small Differences at the Walker in 2014 will be familiar with the artist’s ability to explore complex social issues in a relatable, witty and engaging way.
“It's fascinating to see how themes of identity, social status, sexuality and religion are represented in a variety of symbols across Claire’s dresses, along with Perry’s own personal iconography.
"We’re sure visitors will love seeing the dresses up-close and examining the detail represented.”
Making Himself Claire: Grayson Perry’s Dresses is at the Walker Art Gallery from November 4 to February 4.