By Our Own Hand
Collaborative stitching project
By Our Own Hand builds on Boredom is Always Counter Revolutionary as the basis of a collaborative project. Community embroiderers hobbyists and stitchers are invited to make their own work featuring an individual letter of the text. The individual panels will be assembled to form the full text on a banner scale.
In association with Matt's Gallery and Wandsworth Council.
A video and web project
From July 2016 Matt's Gallery, London, has been regularly posting episodes of Possessions_inc on its mailing list and website.
Part TV series, part blog, part essay, part talking head, Possessions_inc will run into 2018, unfolding narrativess of value, the Bilderberg owl, treasure hunting, the hidden operations of sculpture, animism and the insurance industry.
Cosmic Joke
Single screen HD video Stereo sound
19:40 mins

The work is formed from the texts of jokes that refer to ways of understanding and modelling immaterial or abstract forces, drawn from scientific, religious, philosophical, psychological or political systems. The sections of the jokes are articulated and animated by a 3D modelling animation programme...more

boredom is always counter revolutionary
Boredom is Always Counter Revolutionary
Cross stitch tapestry, gouache and computer generated patterns

A needlework tapestry made between 2012 and 2015 consists of approximately 22,000 cross-stitches, spelling out 'Boredom is Always Counter-Revolutionary'. The phrase, Boredom is Always Counter-Revolutionary, comes from a text by Guy Debord published in the Situationist International Journal in 1962. This later became a popular graffiti during the May 1968 events in Paris. This phrase is the starting point for a series of tapestry designs in gouache, which develop numerous variations on the original design...more
Nothing Can Stop Us Now
5 screen high-definition video installation
'Nothing Can Stop Us Now' features the song 'Stalin wasn't Stallin' memorably covered by Robert Wyatt on his 1982 album 'Nothing Can Stop Us', a record that has become an exemplar of a strand of politically engaged independent music which now seems to represent a model of engaged practice that is increasingly distant and impossible...more
bugarach still
The Magic Mountain
Two screen high-definition video projection
In 2012 the French mountain village of Bugarach became a focus for millennial speculation triggered by the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21st 2012. The mountain had already featured in alternative narratives linked with the Cathar Heresies and lost Templar treasure. It also played a role in speculations to do with Jules Verne, hollow earth theories and was rumoured to have attracted the attention of both the Nazis and Mossad...more
triumph image
(in collaboration with Steve Wigg)
Wet clay on wood
4.6m x 4.3m x 2.7m
Originally commissioned by the University of South Australia Art Museum in 1996, sixteen years later, the artists are reprising Triumph in a new site specific installation at the Samstag Museum. Triumph was based on a 4.6 cm high paper-weight of the Arc de Triomphe bought by a friend from Paris...more
objectivist studio
The Objectivist Studio
The Objectivist Studio is a work that uses texts from the writings of Ayn Rand (1905-1982) as its starting point. Rand was the author of the novels, 'Atlas Shrugged' and 'The Fountainhead' and the founder of 'Objectivism' - a philosophy that holds that 'the purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest.' ...more
magpie index roy harper
The Magpie Index
Single-screen high-definition video projection
68 Mins
In 'The Magpie Index' legendary singer-songwriter, Roy Harper, delivers a series of monologues to camera. Each section addresses a different aspect of his work, his philosophy and history, covering the counter culture; religion and superstition; ornithology; nature and the environment; political engagement and the end of politics as well as Harper's experiences in the music world and the importance of changing light bulbs...more
bank torun
The Banks of Torun
15 works
Ink, pencil and watercolour on paper
29.7 x 42 cm each
A series of watercolours of banks and financial institutions in the historic centre of Torun, Poland, made during a residency hosted by the Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu (CoCA), Torun and Fundacja Fabryka UTU...more
golden space city
The Golden Space City of God
Video installation
The Golden Space City of God is a large scale video installation featuring a 26 piece choir singing an unaccompanied choral work. The libretto was developed from a website linked to the heterodox Christian cult 'The Family', a group who developed from the earlier Children of God of the sixties. This site, (which seemed to date from the late nineties and which has since disappeared) consisted of detailed predictions of events leading up to the end of the world...more
golden space city drawings
The Golden Space City of God
These drawings, an adjunct project to the video installation The Golden Space City of God, are of the Golden Space City of God and of the buildings to be found within. David Berg, founder of The Family, gave precise descriptions of how they looked, their construction and materials, their size and functions and in some cases even their colour schemes...more
Digital prints
tombs of christ
Tombs of Christ
The Tombs of Christ is a series of five pencil drawings of buildings, caves mounds and excavations all of which are believed to be the burial place of Jesus Christ. In traditional Western Art, the representations of the Tomb are different and various, but they all presume a singular historical site where the fundamental miraculous event of the Christian belief system - the resurrection of Christ - took place...more
intelligence installation
Three-channel video projection
The star-charts are of individuals involved with the current Middle East situation - including the governments, the war on Iraq, the Palestinian Israeli situation and Al-Quaida, - including Tony Blair, George W Bush, Donald Rumsfeld. Osama Bin-Laden, Saddam Hussein, Ariel Sharon, Colin Powell, Yasser Arafat, Dick Cheney, Geoff Hoon Condaleeza Rice and so on. They represent individuals and groupings about whom people tend to have strongly held beliefs, or feel at least that they have some understanding of and the way that their actions are directly shaping our experience of the world...more
intelligence drawings
Hand drawn computer generated commentaries and star charts of Yasse Arafat, Colin Luther Powell, Ariel Sharon, Condoleezza Rice, Saddam Hussein, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, George Herbert Walker Bush, Osama Bin Laden and Richard 'Dick' Bruce Cheney...more
Two-channel video projection
In October 2003, Richard Grayson approached the Australian Country and Western Band 'The Midnight Amblers' to collaborate on a project re-arranging and performing the libretto to Handel's 1742 Oratorio 'The Messiah'. The dual projection video work Messiah is the end result. The text, written and assembled by Charles Jennens was created to support the idea that Jesus Christ was indeed the person anticipated by the Jewish prophets of the Old Testament, not an event that rendered such prophecy void...more
suspicious fires
Suspicious Fires
Digital prints
Two-channel video projection with spoken text
Image and spoken text linking a ghost story by M. R. James, Kurt Schwitters' Merzbau projects, Giordano Bruno's Theatre of Memory, a museum of antiquities, and a website...more
seven seals
Ways the World Ends
Print series
A series of print works which present predictions about how the world will end. One is from what we would consider a ‘mainstream’ source: an outline of what may happen in a few billion years by a couple of scientists who were reported on a CNN web site. Others come from sources that have a rather more meta-physical inflection...more
starship troopers
The Family Starship Troopers
Video projection
The text is from a prediction of how the world will end and how God will return (in a space city!) by a Christian cult organisation called The Family...The horizontal scrolling text is accompanied by snatches and samples from a soundtrack of Starship Troopers, a Paul Verhoeven movie where...more
ways the world ends
Ways the World Ends
Painting series
A series of paintings which present predictions about how the world will end. One is from what we would consider a ‘mainstream’ source: an outline of what may happen in a few billion years by a couple of scientists who were reported on a CNN web site. Others come from sources that have a rather more meta-physical inflection...more
The Satanic Packaging and Advertising Initiative (SPAI)
Performance with image projections at International Corporation of Lost Structures (ICOLS) Launch, MCA Sydney, Australia ...more
walk up the hill
A Walk up the Hill in Six different Countries
Single-channel video projection
A Walk Up the Hill in Six different Countries is a sort of immersive video game pan through the landscapes of the Australian bush, breathlessly narrated by descriptions of the imaginary topologies of the Isle of Dionysis, Shangri-La, Narnia, and Utopia. Virtual landscapes that have been drawn from the experience of landscapes and which in turn shape and narrate our own understandings of the world...more
negative space
Negative Space (Things I don't understand)
Painting series
These are paintings of things that I do not understand. The title of the installation 'Negative Space', is a borrowing from life-drawing classes where you are instructed to describe and draw the areas where the subject is not (the triangle formed by neck and wall, the shape the carpet makes against the thigh etc), and through this process one ends up with an accurate deliniation of the area that the subject occupies. Can we achieve this sort of representation with concepts and ideas?...more
Single-channel video projection
'The idea for Richard Grayson's video, Ahistoryofreading, "came out of nowhere" (his words). He emptied the shelves of books in a New York studio - where he was staying -- arranged them for their witty title and cover association, and lined them up to be video-taped being pushed down, one by one..'...more
Alt History Paintings
Alternative History Paintings
Painting series
various things
Various things explained
Single-channel video
A video using articles on a dining table to describe: 1. How a nerve fibre works 2. Marx's theory of surplus value 3. How I split up with K 4. Lacan's theory of desire (mis-explained) and 5. Heresy...more
triumph 1
(In collaboration with Steve Wigg)
Wet clay on wood - 4.3m x 4.3m x 2.7m

Based on a 4.3 cm high paper-weight of the Arc de Triomph bought back by a friend from Paris, enlarged 100 times and built out of wet clay. It was at the same time Gigantic (compared to the model) and minute (compared to the Arc). During the period of exhibition the clay shrank and fell from the wooden sub-structure...more

Self Expression
420mm x 597mm

Commissioned work for front cover of the art magazine, Broadsheet, published by the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia...more
Work About The Real World
Potato print on paper
3m x 6.5m



A series of potato prints, written in a way that requires a little decoding, of a 'fact'. The facts are seemingly significant, but in fact without 'use' merely of themselves, for instance 'Rain contains vitamin B 12', 'Freud couldn't read time-tables', ...more
Hammer drilled plaster wall
3.5m x 6.5m

The text is an extract of a personal letter from someone else, enlarged, then hammer drilled into the plaster of the gallery wall...more

Hammer drilled plaster wall
4m x 3m x 2.5 x 4m

Texts from two received letters. An extract of a paragraph from one, hammer drilled into the wall, and a single word ('solitary') carved into the facing wall...more
I'm taking control of your life
by Grayson Industries
Music, 10 tracks
Grayson Industries
Lyrics and vocals: Richard Grayson
Music arrangement and production: David Barrat
50 Violent Acts
45 mins duration
The performance consisted of a series of seventy tableau vivants separated by extreme darkness. The images operated as a series of snapshots or frames from an hypothetical film in which images of tenderness were interleaved with those of failed communication and of implied power relationships...more
Three Real Things
5 mins
This video was a stand alone work as well a component of a series of performances which premiered in 'The Basement Group' exhibition at the Arnolfini, Bristol in 1982...more
Three Thousand Famous Men
12 mins


This video was a stand alone work as well a component of a series of performances which premiered in 'The Basement Group' exhibition at the Arnolfini, Bristol in 1982...more

Newcastle upon Tyne
1979 - 1984
Richard Grayson was a founder member of The Basement Group and Projects UK Newcastle upon Tyne. Between December 1979 and November 1984, the Basement/Projects curated organised and programmed over 236 events including their own individual and collaborative performances, in Newcastle and on tour...more


Richard Grayson is represented by Matt's Gallery London and Yuill|Crowley, Sydney