York Art Gallery acquires Grayson Perry's Melanie

Perry's sculpture from Who Are You? is set to take centre-stage in the gallery's new ceramics collection, thanks to support from the Art Fund.

Curatorial assistant Lorna Frost with Grayson Perry’s Melanie Photograph by Kippa Matthews

Curatorial assistant Lorna Frost with Grayson Perry’s Melanie

A ceramic collection that celebrates the best of British studio ceramics would be unthinkable without Grayson Perry. He is one of the most renowned contemporary artists in the UK and the first ceramic artist to be awarded the Turner Prize. Hence, the York Art Gallery wanted to acquire Melanie, one of Perry’s Three Graces, for its new Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA).

Perry created the Three Graces series during the Channel 4 documentary, Who Are You? It is based on three ladies, Melanie, Georgina and Sarah, who were contestants for the Miss Plus Size International competition. Filmed attending their boot camp, Perry was interested in their struggle for acceptance as larger-sized women.


“Grayson Perry is arguably the best-known potter in the UK today and, as such, we felt that his work should be represented in CoCA.”

  • Helen Walsh
  • Curator of ceramics, York Museums Trust

With help from the Art Fund, York Art Gallery has acquired Melanie. Helen Walsh, curator of ceramics, said: ‘We are thrilled with the new addition to our ceramics collection. Grayson Perry is arguably the best-known potter in the UK today and, as such, we felt that his work should be represented in CoCA.

‘Melanie is one of Grayson’s most recent works; a voluptuous figurative piece with a strong narrative which discusses the changing view of what constitutes feminine beauty.’

Melanie will be displayed at the York Art Gallery’s CoCA, which opens on 1 August.

Venue details

York Art Gallery Exhibition Square North Yorkshire YO1 7EW 01904 687687 www.yorkartgallery.org.uk

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £6.82)

Mon – Fri, 10am – 5pm (Sat until 6pm)

Sun, 11am – 4pm

Tags: What to seeweve-helped-to-buy