Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the artist Grayson Perry. For more than 20 years his work was broadly unknown outside the narrow confines of the art world. But in 2003 he became a household name after a collection of his exquisitely ornate pots won him art's most prestigious award, the Turner Prize. He's described as 'the hottest potter in the world' but newspaper headlines describing his success focused at least as much on his clothes as his art - when he collected the prize he wore a lilac party dress with a bow in his hair.
He started dressing in his sister's clothes when he was a child - initially as part of his imaginative games and then for an erotic thrill. In part, women's clothes represented the tender emotions he was too scared to show in his repressive and sometimes frightening family home. Now, they're a way of controlling how people see him, what kind of attention he attracts and, if nothing else, they're a unique selling point. He acknowledges the debt he owes to his profession; only the arts would tolerate, he says, a transvestite potter from Essex.
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