Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry will be the new Chancellor of UAL and will take up the post on 1 August 2015.
Grayson, who is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading contemporary visual artists, will take over the honorary role from Kwame Kwei-Armah who will come to the end of his four year term of office after the University’s Graduation Ceremonies in July 2015.
Grayson’s appointment crowns a close association with the University which spans many years. He has regularly lectured at the University, been a Governor at UAL since 2010 and is a regular attendee at the University’s Summer Shows.
Grayson commented: “I am delighted, honoured and proud to take on the role of Chancellor of the University of the Arts London. I hope to use the position to act as an ambassador and champion of the arts and especially high quality arts and design education.
“Being an artist has given me so much, my career, my friends and my sanity, not to mention my wardrobe! Becoming Chancellor gives me a platform from which to communicate the great good the arts and especially UAL offers both to individuals and society.”
Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor of UAL, said: “Grayson has an astounding ability to speak for the maker, the student and the audience of art. We are proud to have appointed this unmissable artist and advocate as UAL’s Chancellor.”
Welcoming the appointment, Sir John Sorrell, Chairman of UAL, said: “Grayson has been a friend to UAL for a number of years now and we are delighted to welcome him as our Chancellor. As a high-profile campaigner for the importance of the arts and the right for anyone to access a creative education, he is a fitting representative for UAL.
“On behalf of everyone at the University, I would like to thank Kwame Kwei-Armah for his years of devoted service on behalf of our students and staff.”
Second year Central Saint Martins BA (Hons) Fashion students design a dress for Grayson every year, based on a brief written by him. Grayson attends sessions every week during the process, and each year he buys up for 14 outfits and wears them to high-profile events.
In 2013 Grayson delivered The Reith Lectures on BBC Radio 4, hosting the final one in the series at the University’s Platform Theatre at Kings Cross.
Grayson was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003, the first time it was given to a ceramic artist. He has had solo exhibitions at the British Museum and Barbican Art Gallery in London, Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum and Luxembourg’s Musée d’art moderne Grand-Duc Jean.
Recent shows include the Charms of Lincolnshire (a show using a collection of social history artefacts), My Civilisation (a large survey of his work shown in Japan and Luxembourg), and Unpopular Culture (a touring show with pieces curated from the Arts Council Collection). In 2012, Grayson created the Vanity of Small Differences, a six-piece tapestry.
In his 2013 BAFTA award-winning series on Channel 4 ‘In All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry’ he explored taste and class in the UK.