Did Tower of London Reject Grayson Perry’s Plan to Install 800,000 Ceramic Puppies?

Grayson Perry. Photo: Richard Ansett.

Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry announced over Twitter yesterday that he had submitted a proposal to install nearly one million ceramic puppies around the Tower of London. In the same tweet, he announced that his proposal had allegedly been rejected.

“My proposal to install 800,000 ceramic puppies around the Tower of London has been turned down,” he wrote, punctuating the sad news with a dejected-looking emoji.

Perry is known for creating ceramic vases and sculptures, as well as for his cross-dressing habits. His female alter ego, Claire, often makes appearances in his work. His most recent work was Julie’s House, a “secular chapel” he created in honor of a fictional British woman named Julie.

As the Independent notes, Perry’s puppy proposal is likely a riff on Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, a 2014 installation by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, which saw the grassy areas surrounding the Tower of London filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies—one for each British soldier who died during World War I—that were later auctioned off individually on eBay to raise money for military-related charities.

Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red (2014).

Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red (2014).
Photo: via The Guardian.

As adorable as 800,000 ceramic pups might be, it’s easy to imagine how some people could perceive the installation as making light of Cummins and Piper’s heartfelt WWI tribute. Or is it possible that Perry submitted no such real proposal, and it just making a good old fashioned Twitter joke?

Either way, Perry’s followers lapped it up, responding with punny tweets of their own: “Did they find it inaPUPriate?,” “That’s RUFF,” and “They must have been having kittens when you said that!” One person suggested that perhaps proposing the use of real puppies would have gotten a better response.

artnet News reached out to Perry’s gallery, Victoria Miro, who were not immediately available for comment.


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