The Crafts Council Adds an Exciting New Acquisition to Its National Collection of Contemporary Craft

For Immediate Release: 16 January 2016

The Crafts Council is delighted to announce an exciting new acquisition to its national Collection of contemporary craft: a pair of tapestries by Grayson Perry which will be presented publically for the first time at Collect.

The Essex House Tapestries: The Life of Julie Cope (2015) were made as part of a suite of works for A House for Essex, designed by Grayson Perry and FAT architects for Living Architecture. They tell the story of an imaginary woman, Julie, an Essex everywoman whose biography Perry has written in a long poem. The Crafts Council has commissioned a special audio recording read by Grayson Perry himself and a visualisation of The Ballad of Julie Cope which will form part of the presentation at Collect before going on a national tour. Purchase of this significant acquisition was supported by the Art Fund, Maylis and James Grand, Victoria Miro and other private donors

Visitors to Collect will also be able to use a new web app which will bring the story of the two tapestries (A Perfect Match and In Its Familiarity, and Golden) to life. By clicking on highlighted ‘hotspots’ visitors can read text, see the images in closer detail, see related films and hear Grayson reading the ballad.

Designed exclusively for the Crafts Council, a new range of fine bone china mugs and a tote bag featuring details from the tapestries will be available for purchase at Collect and online via the Crafts Council website from the 2 February.

For the first time Collect will also stage a benefit auction which Grayson Perry has supported through a generous donation.

The benefit auction will raise funds to help support the Crafts Council build a new home for craft in London. A flexible and diverse space it will showcase new makers and new making to new audiences.

The auction, that aims to raise over £40,000, will also include works by Edmund de Waal, Clare Twomey, Tord Boontje and a recent Joseph Harrington commission supported by The Glenlivet.

The benefit auction will be powered by Collect’s official online partner Artsy who will also providing a comprehensive online guide to works and exhibitors at Collect in 2017. The auction and the online guide will go live on Artsy’s website on 26 January with an exclusive first look for press and VIPs on 25 January. The auction will remain open until the close of the fair.  Bidding can be made through Artsy’s website and iPhone App. All artworks can be viewed at Collect and visitors can bid at onsite at the fair using the Artsy iPad kiosks. Early registration for bidding will be open in January.

“The Crafts Council has been championing craft in the UK through research, innovative programmes, advice and support since the 1970s.” said Crafts Council’s Executive Director Rosy Greenlees. “I am delighted that some of our most established makers have contributed towards the benefit auction to support a new home for craft. By transforming our space and opening the doors to our magnificent building in London we will offer makers and the general public a place to meet, explore our Collection, debate and much, much more.

“Artsy is thrilled to be the official online partner for Collect and the Crafts Council Benefit Auction” said Artsy's Fair Partnerships Director Katie Higgins. “Through this partnership, Artsy will connect its growing global community of collectors with all the Crafts Council and participating makers have to offer.”


This year Collect is supported by official partner Artsy and sponsored by FBC London, Dinesen, Newby Teas, and Champagne Pommery.

This strong commercial support is a recognition that interest in craft has been growing steadily over the last decade. As a key part of the creative industries, the UK’s second fastest growing industrial sector, craft contributes £3.4bn per year to the UK economy.

FBC London is the VIP sponsor of Collect 2017, and will create the VIP lounge at the fair. Dinesen will create a Dinesen environment within the top floor refectory, and Newby Teas are delighted to be the fair’s official tea sponsor supporting Collect’s talks programme, while Champagne Pommery is the official champagne sponsor.


FBC London produces luxury-handcrafted furniture, created by renowned interior designer Fiona Barratt-Campbell, and will be the lead VIP sponsor of Collect 2017.  The collaboration will see FBC London 'take-over' the VIP area of Collect - enabling guests of the fair to experience the best of British craftsmanship and manufacturing first hand in what promises to be a stunning environment.

"FBC London is delighted to be working with the Craft Council in association with Collect," said Fiona Barratt-Campbell Founder of FBC London. "It is a fantastic fair showcasing excellence in design and quality from a selection of outstanding artisans. This event is essential for bringing these exceptional makers to the wider luxury market.  Artisanal production is something that we at FBC London value highly. We have several small artisans producing elements of our furniture and it is important that these traditional skills are kept alive and invested in for future generations."


Dinesen is one of world's leading providers of extraordinary plank floors and other exclusive solutions with wood. Collect 2017 will showcase the versatility and magnificence of Dinesen wood through the creation of a Dinesen environment within the top floor refectory; in harmony with existing stunning Dinesen flooring found throughout the Saatchi Gallery.

"It is in the importance of materiality within contemporary design that Collect and Dinesen share a perfect synergy," said Morten Larsen, Dinesen’s Head of Sales. "Collect’s stature has been growing year on year and Dinesen is very happy to collaborate in the 2017 fair."

Newby Teas

This year, Newby Teas will be supporting Collect, the international art fair for contemporary objects, as its official tea sponsor. The only tea company that plays host to a collection of precious tea wares, known as The Chitra Collection, Newby employs a deep consideration for culture and craftsmanship.

Newby Teas is a highly awarded luxury company, dedicated to reviving the culture and appreciation of fine tea. Proud to champion Collect’s high profile panel of speakers, Newby will be providing the perfect accompaniment to the event’s programme of talks, in the form of complimentary teas.

“We are honored to lend the great artists, artisans and designers of Collect 2017 our support.” – Mr. Sethia, Founder of Newby Teas

Champagne Pommery

Champagne Pommery’s commitment to artistic creation has been at the heart of their culture since the 1880’s when Madame Pommery commissioned Gustav Navlet to carve directly into the cellar walls of the cathedral like caves. Champagne Pommery is, therefore, delighted to be the Official Champagne Sponsor for Collect 2017 as it demonstrates continuing support for quality international craftsmanship and innovation.

“Every year, the Pommery Domaine invites and plays host to the most talented representatives of the contemporary international art scene for brand new works created in situ within the cellars, a recognised Unesco World Heritage site.  Collect gives you an opportunity to experience Pommery’s Grande Marque Champagne in a cutting edge and passionate environment.” - Giles Henton, Vranken Pommery UK