Balliol JCR has voted this week to buy a £30,000 print by Grayson Perry using its Picture Fund. The JCR was offered a £10,000 reduction from the asking price and, following a GM motion, resolved to buy the piece to decorate the Buttery for £20,000. The motion passed without opposition.
The print in question is Map of Days, a map that Perry describes as a self-portrait charting his own identity. In an interview with charity Art Fund last year, he said, “I wanted to make it more of a musing on the nature of identity and the self. I thought the walled city was a good metaphor – the wall, I suppose, can roughly be interpreted as your skin. But like any city, it’s dependent on the landscape it sits in as well.”
The piece has also featured in Perry’s Channel 4 series Who Are You?.
Will Aitchison, one of the co-managers of the Balliol Picture Fund who proposed the motion, was offered the reduction in price during a visit to Paragon Press, where the print was formerly held.
He told Cherwell, “I feel that Map of Days suits the student environment well, given that its theme – the exploration of the self – is one that everyone can associate with. Grayson Perry is an impressive individual and we are delighted to be associated with him by having his work in our collection. We are hoping we might be able to persuade him to come to Balliol at some point when we have the print installed.”
A number of old members of Balliol College grouped together to create the Balliol Art Picture Fund, a fund exclusively for the purchase of art for Balliol JCR. Students can choose to have lower value paintings on display in their rooms. High value paintings include Italian Town with Lake by Paul Feiler.
Grayson Perry is famous as a Turner Prize-winning artist, known especially for his ceramics and his cross-dressing.