A couple of weeks ago, during the Whit week and the school holiday, we all went to visit Grandma and Granddad down in beautiful Suffolk. Having seen the Channel 4 programme the week before about Grayson Perry’s new work, a collaboration with FAT architects, called a ‘House for Essex’, we decided to go and visit it.
The house is built in a small Essex village called Wrabness, which is near the banks of the River Stour and a nature reserve.
To get near to the house, you can either walk from the local railway station (the best route for those who are unable to walk far or are unsteady on their feet) or like we did and many others, take a slightly longer walk but much more scenic and fun, by walking down the public footpath near to the historic and beautiful All Saint’s Church. The church itself is worth a look at too, it was built in the 1100’s with a separate bell ‘cage’ built after the bell tower collapsed.
One of my daughters had already seen the Channel 4 programme about how the house was designed and built, so she was super excited as we walked along near the nature reserve catching tantalising glimpses of the house as we walked along the footpaths.
With us, were other people making their way to the house, coming from different directions. It was a little bit like a scene in ‘Close Encounters’, when people were drawn to the hill ‘Devil’s Tower’ not knowing why and having no control over their actions – they just had to go.
The design and detail for the outside of the house is stunning. It also amazed me how wonderfully it sits in the landscape, being such a rural area. The gold roof, sitting beautifully above the trees.
During the Summer, there is an opportunity to stay in the house, for a large fee, of course. As a textile artist, I feel I would love to stay there during the Winter, using Grayson Perry’s interior tapestries and decoration, as inspiration only leaving the building to collect food, walk down to the nature reserve and observe the cranes at the docks of Harwich and Felixstowe. Plus, there would be less people – like us! – peering in at the fabulous house!
Having been lucky enough to visit Grayson Perry’s ‘House for Essex’, with a young family, I would fully recommend it to anyone in the area to go and visit it. I also urge the people of Wrabness to get postcards made, the café open and enjoy this wonderful opportunity to celebrate having a major artwork on their doorstep.