25 Nov 2013

Listen to artist Grayson Perry’s fascinating talks from Playing to the Gallery: BBC Reith Lectures 2013

Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry as his female alter ego Claire

Grayson Perry, winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, delivers the annual BBC Reith Lectures — the first ever by a visual artist. In four fascinating talks, the self-described ‘Essex transvestite potter’, (known for his ceramic works, printmaking, drawing, sculpture and tapestry) explores the role of art in society, the limits of contemporary art and the idea of how we judge quality.

Dip into audio, transcripts and video clips of Playing to the Gallery on The Reith Lectures site, or listen to all four lectures available on SoundCloud below.


  1. Lecture 1: Democracy Has Bad Taste

    In his opening Reith Lecture, Grayson Perry reflects on the idea of quality and examines who and what defines what we see and value as art. Recorded at Tate Modern, London.

  2. Lecture 2: Beating The Bounds

    In the second lecture, delivered at St George’s Hall in Liverpool, the artist analyses the common tests of a piece of art — from commercial worth to public popularity to aesthetic value.

  3. Lecture 3: Nice Rebellion, Welcome In!

    Recorded in front of an audience at The Guildhall in Londonderry, Perry asks if revolution is a defining idea in art, or has it met its end?

  4. Lecture 4: I Found Myself In The Art World

    In his final lecture, Perry discusses his life in the art world: the journey from the unconscious child playing with paint, to the award-winning successful artist of today. Recorded at Central St Martins School of Art, London.

Artist image via Flickr