Wearing a cream, knee-length dress and full make-up, the artist Grayson Perry cut a distinctive figure while enjoying a cup of tea at Leeds Art Gallery.
The Turner Prize-winning artist, who is a transvestite, was in the city to give a talk on behalf of the Leeds Art Fund (LAF).
But before the 52-year-old six footer delivered his speech yesterday (June 25) he took time to enjoy a cuppa with LAF supporter Dr Brian Welch, LAF chairman Ben Read and trustee Mahdi El-Hussani in the gallery’s Tiled Hall – dressed as his alter ego Claire complete with blue and purple eye-shadow and false lashes.
The international artist and star of Channel 4 show All in the Best Possible Taste accepted an invitation from the LAF as part of its 100th birthday celebrations.
He told the YEP: “They asked me at the right time and I’m a supporter of the Leeds Art Fund. Museums still don’t have much money.
“All the great works often get put into private collections these days.
“Groups like the art fund are really important. And artists want their works to be in public collections, of course, so they can be seen.”
Set up in 1912, the LAF uses money donated solely by benefactors and its members to buy artworks for and on behalf of the city.
These can be drawings, paintings or sculptures that those in charge at Leeds City Council would not necessarily buy with public funds.
Chairman Ben Read said: “We had to book Grayson in at the end of last year.
“He is one of most eminent speakers to come to the city.
“We’d also tried to get Anthony Gormley, who is famous for the brick man sculpture in the gallery, but he’s booked up two years in advance. So we were very lucky to get Grayson and the talk could have been sold out at least four times.”
* Read more about Grayson Perry and the LAF in Thursday’s Scene supplement in your YEP.