Grayson Perry believes it is his job as an artist to notice things. In the case of his six tapestry panels, The Vanity of Small Differences, those things are the choices we make when we get dressed or furnish our homes. The Tapestries are based on Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress (1732 -33). A TV programme was conceived in a roundabout way. Channel 4 wanted to commission the outspoken and entertaining Perry to do a TV series about taste in Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and the Cotswolds, but he told them he was an artist, not a presenter. They then suggested that the programmes could form an extended research trip for a piece of art. Each programme was to examine one of the three social classes, but Perry thought a series of three artworks was not enough, so doubled it to six. This interview is about this journey and the subsequent tapestries produced which are on tour in the UK - currently in Birmingham. The Vanity of Small Differences’, a series of six tapestries by Grayson Perry on display at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 14 February – 11 May 2014

Judith Quiney talks to Grayson Perry