The Agony in the Car Park

Grayson Perry2012

Arts Council Collection

Arts Council Collection
London, United Kingdom

This image is a distant relative of Giovanni Bellini’s The Agony in the Garden (c. 1465). The scene is a hill outside Sunderland – in the distance is the Stadium of Light. The central figure, Tim’s stepfather, a club singer, hints at Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece (1512–16). A naively-drawn shipyard crane stands in for the crucifix, with Tim’s mother as Mary below it – once again in the throes of an earthly passion. Tim, in grammar school uniform, blocks his ears, squirming in embarrassment. A computer magazine sticks out of his bag, betraying his early enthusiasm for software. To the left, a younger Tim plays happily with his step-grandfather outside his pigeon cree on the allotments. To the right, young men with their customised cars gather in the car park of ‘Heppies’ social club. Mrs T and the call centre manager await a new recruit into the middle class.

Text courtesy of the artist.


  • Title: The Agony in the Car Park
  • Creator: Grayson Perry
  • Date Created: 2012
  • Physical Dimensions: 200 x 400cm
  • Rights: The artist. Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from AlixPartners.
  • Medium: Wool, cotton, acrylic, polyester and silk tapestry

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps