Grayson Perry asks Edinburgh artist Pauline Farrar to feature work in Platinum Jubilee exhibition

An Edinburgh woman is over the moon after an appearance on artist Grayson Perry’s TV show saw her land a VIP invitation to a Jubilee-themed exhibition.

By Rhoda Morrison
Sunday, 29th May 2022, 3:17 pm

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Pauline Farrar was a special guest on Grayson’s Art Club which aired on Channel 4 on Wednesday after Grayson was wowed by her unusual installation “The Throne of Succulents” - which features a throne, crown and footstool covered in succulent plants.

Speaking on the show, Grayson said the throne “super caught his eye” and described it as “one of the most tasteful tributes to the Queen”.

Pauline Farrar spent five weeks working on the The Throne Of Succulents

The eye-catching collection of vintage items and plants are set up out the front of Pauline’s home, which she shares with her husband James, in Henderson Row, Stockbridge.

“I always like to do a theme with my succulents and earlier this year I thought it’s going to be the Queen’s jubilee so why don’t we focus on the coronation,” said the 57-year-old, who was unable to continue working as a goldsmith after she was left paralysed by Guillain-Barré Syndrome which affects the nerves.

Pauline and James collected vintage items relating to the Queen and the Royals, including an old crown, a china Corgi and teacups and saucers. But as well as being something fun to look at, the couple wanted it to unite the community and become a talking point.

“I’m disabled and there’s a lot of isolation that comes with that,” said Pauline. “I just wanted to do something that would get people to stop and chat.

Pauline Farrar has created a special tribute to the Queen's Jubilee

“I started with succulents about three or four years ago. Before that I used to have normal plants - tulips in the spring and bedding plants in the summer. But people would walk past and not chat so I wanted to try something of interest to get people talking.

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“People loved it and so I went full steam ahead and decided to do it more and more. People love it and they say it makes them smile.”

Among those who admire Pauline’s artwork, which took five weeks and 400 succulent plants to create, are pupils from Stockbridge Primary School.

And it has now gained nation-wide attention after Pauline submitted pictures to Grayson’s Art Show - one of her favourite television programmes.

“My husband looked it up online and said they were taking submissions based on the theme of the Queen. He said I could put in the throne and crown and so we took pictures and sent them in,” she said.

“I couldn’t believe it when they got back to me because I know they asked for paintings and sculptures and so I didn’t think mine really fit in.”

But Grayson was so taken with the unique design that he asked Pauline if the throne and crown could feature in his major exhibition in Birmingham’s Midlands Art Centre at the end of the year.

“I am very excited that it will be in the exhibition,” she said. “I just hope it arrives in one piece as it’s a living art piece. But they promised they would look after it.”

Pauline will also travel down to Birmingham for the opening of the exhibition, which will run from December until April 2023 and she hopes the opportunity will arise to meet Grayson in person.

“I’ve loved Grayson’s Art Club for ages. It inspires so many people. Art is a part of the UK I think and it’s a beautiful language. It’s all about making connections really.

“I’m very excited and happy at the reaction to the piece. Now I’ll have to try to top it next year - but I don’t know what with yet.”

Pauline and James are opening their garden on Sunday, June 26, with anyone welcome to visit between 1pm and 5pm. For adults, admission costs £7 and children are free. All proceeds will go to Edinburgh Shelter.