Huhne goes on display in a vase


Published: Tuesday 21st October 2014 by The News Editor

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Acclaimed artist Grayson Perry has created a vase inspired by former energy secretary Chris Huhne – decorated with images of penises and speed cameras.

The Turner Prize-winner used the images to portray the former leading Lib-Dem politician’s downfall as he endeavoured to capture his essence in a new series to be screened by Channel 4.

Perry, who went on to smash the pot and then reassemble it, will also be displaying the work along with a number of others created for the series – Grayson Perry: Who Are You? – at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The ceramic and tapestry artist met a number of people who were at a crossroads in their lives, or as they struggled with their own identity, then went on to portray them in one of his works.

Perry will be seen inerviewing Huhne – on the morning of his release from prison, as well as on the eve of his sentencing – during the first episode of the series, to be screened tomorrow.

The one-time candidate for the Lib-Dem leadership fell from grace after he left his wife Vicky Pryce for PR adviser Carina Trimingham.

It later emerged that he had asked Pryce to take the blame for a speeding offence which led to his resignation from the coalition Cabinet. Both Pryce and Huhne were jailed for perverting the course of justice.

The “Huhne Vase” features repeating patterns with images of the ex-politician’s face, his personalised numberplate, a penis, speed cameras, prison bars and the Lib-Dem symbol of the bird of liberty.

Perry said: “I wanted to include Chris Huhne (because) he represents what I call ‘Default Man’ – a white, middle-class, middle-aged, heterosexual man, an identity group that hides in plain sight.

“I have represented Chris as a series of repeat patterns. This is a riposte to the common Default Man’s defence that he is an ‘individual’ and his achievements and behaviour have nothing to do with a group identity. I have smashed the pot and had it repaired with gold to symbolise that vulnerability might be an asset in relationships to such a person.”

The repaired cracks have been highlighted using an ancient Chinese technique, where the cracks are repaired using a gold lacquer resin.

Other sitters for the series include Loyalist marchers in Northern Ireland, a couple living with Alzheimer’s and TV presenter Rylan Clark, a former X Factor contestant.

He also creates a tapestry inspired by young Muslim convert Kayleigh Khosravi, from Ashford in Kent.

Perry said: “What does Islam offer to a young white woman in her twenties? The answer, I found, appears to be a refuge from the nagging consumer pressures and constant, often sexual, scrutiny of women all-pervasive in western society.

“Conversion also offers a strong and supportive sisterhood within the congregation of the mosque.”

Perry’s works will be displayed to the public for free in the 19th century galleries at the National Portrait Gallery from Saturday.

Published: Tuesday 21st October 2014 by The News Editor

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