FOR GRAYSON PERRY
In July 2003 I received an email from Grayson Perry in which he said: ‘I want to wear an embroidered dress to collect the Turner Prize in December, as I definitely will win!’
Grayson’s optimism was vindicated in December when he received the coveted award wearing a whimsical little number lavishly decorated with embroidered bunny rabbits and slightly malevolent hearts and flowers, all programmed in my digitising studio in Nottingham.
Since being introduced to Grayson in 1996 I have had the pleasure of translating his ideas into embroidery language for his startling and elaborate wall hangings/quilts, stand alone pieces and his alter-ego Claire’s personal adornment. Grayson writes: ‘In 1996 I approached Tony to programme a design for me that was to become my quilt piece, Tree of Death…This set the tone for a fun creative relationship which has lasted to this day.
I have always enjoyed working with Tony as he interprets my drawings in a way that not only enhances the image but also showcases the richness of the embroidery. I have set him tasks of mind-numbing complexity that he has taken on without even an audible intake of breath. I trust Tony never to take shortcuts and he reworks designs without complaint.
In 2003 the fruits of his skill were pictured in newspapers and on television all over the world. The dress I was wearing when I won the Turner Prize was covered in embroidery programmed and directed by Tony’.