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Matt Haig: notes on a Nervous Planet

Thursday 28th March 2019

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The Guardian

“Notes on a Nervous Planet is generous, sensible and timely. Reading it will probably be good for your mental health.”

The world is messing with our minds.

Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. We are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index.

– How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad?

– How do we stay human in a technological world?

After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig, so he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. The poignant and natural follow up to Matt’s, Reasons To Stay Alive, which sat in the bestseller list for over 46 weeks, Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the twenty-first century.

Join the author for an evening of positive and insightful discussion about the modern world, offering a closer look at the challenges posed by our ever-changing technological landscape and his advice on how best to navigate it.

“Thought-provoking … [Haig’s] hard-won wisdom asks us to think about how we can live in the present – and in so doing, he creates a wonderfully perceptive chronicle of life in the always-on social media age. A real-world guide to mindfulness” The Observer

Presented by NCH



The self-professed ‘artist, broadcaster, transvestite, lecturer, worshipper of teddy bears and telly addict’ best known for his ceramic vessels, printed tapestries and his colourful cross dressing continues to explore themes of popularity and art, masculinity and the current cultural landscape in his works.

Alongside his many exhibitions Perry has also undertaken a number of documentary television programmes as well as publishing several books and graphic novels including: two autobiographies, Grayson Perry: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl (2007) and The Descent of Man (2016), an illustrated a graphic novel; Cycle of Violence (2012), a book about art, Playing to the Gallery (2014) and illustrated Sketchbooks (2016).

Renowned for dissecting British "prejudices, fashions and foibles" (Tate), Perry uses his art to address subjects that are universally human such as identity, gender, social status, sexuality and religion. Peppered with political and allegorical references, his work draws on an autobiographical narrative which often features his alter ego Claire. The narrative chronicles a troubled childhood in which Perry turned to transvestism to find solace.

Much of Perry’s art can be interpreted in tandem with questions about décor and decorum, class and taste, and the status of the artist versus that of the artisan. Many of these themes are explored in most recent exhibitions including that of his six tapestries entitled The Vanity of Small Differences shown at the RHA Gallery Dublin earlier this year.

Last year’s exhibition ‘The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!’ was designed to address how contemporary art can best address a diverse cross section of society. This summer Perry is coordinating the 250th annual celebration of The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2018, which is set to be the biggest, brightest and most colourful Summer Exhibition yet, with over 1,200 works on display including those by Perry.

Perry was the first ceramicist to win the Turner Prize in 2003. Much of his work is held in museum collections worldwide including The British Museum, London; Tate Collection, London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; among many others. In 2013 he received a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.