Making Himself Claire: Grayson Perry’s Dresses

4 November 2017 – 4 February 2018

This display features a number of dresses owned by the artist and activist Grayson Perry. The selection will include the dress worn by Grayson when he won the Turner Prize in 2003, as well as a number of dresses designed for the artist by students at Central Saint Martins.

Grayson Perry has been cross-dressing since he was a child, using it to step into a fantasy world where he felt safer. He describes himself as a transvestite and for him cross-dressing has an exciting, sexual aspect but he has no desire to become a female, nor to dress as a woman full-time.

After many years of experimenting with cross-dressing and wearing conventional female clothes, Grayson became dissatisfied with the lack of reaction he provoked. In response, he developed the persona known as Claire. Claire appears in public and in Grayson’s art in a number of different guises, ranging from a little girl in a frilly dress to an adult woman. As Claire, he can dress in an outrageously flamboyant way and enjoy the reaction she causes.

Grayson has designed many of Claire’s outfits himself, but every year the fashion students at London’s Central St Martin’s take part in a competition to design new dresses for her and Grayson encourages them to make the dresses as bizarre and exciting as they can.

You will be able to see a variety of these dresses made for Grayson in the display, as well as items from his personal wardrobe.


Caption: Grayson Perry at Liverpool Walker Art Gallery; image by Gareth Jones


Further information:
  • Location  Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EL
  • How to get there By train: Liverpool Lime Street – Wirral and national services, Moorfields station – Northern line services (Southport – Hunts Cross), Liverpool Central – Wirral and Northern line services; By car: the Walker is in the city centre, close to the entrance to the Queensway Tunnel and Lime Street Station – follow the directions to Liverpool Lime St station where there is a car park just opposite the Walker Art Gallery in William Brown Street; By bus: nearest bus stations are Queens Square bus station and Liverpool One bus station
  • Opening hours 10 am – 5 pm daily, e except on 24, 25, 26 and 31 December and 1 January, when they are closed all day.
  • This is a free exhibition
  • Further information 0151 478 4199