Halo, by Maria Beddoes, Acrylic, 44x56cm, £500. Inspired by portraiture styles of Renaissance, Pre-Raphaelite and Christian Orthodox paintings, I’m exploring and reinterpreting the form to express a more personal, individual and secular celebration of everyday life. The daily heroism in the face of the many practical and psychological challenges of an unpredictable existence are rarely recognised or celebrated. Resilience in the face of stressful, chaotic and a sometimes out of control circumstances and finding joy in small victories is reason to reflect and show gratitude.
Cathedral Dress, by Helen Adie, 2018; Monoprint and collage; 20”x 23”, £350 In this image, I am choosing to portray an aspect of myself as actress, all-powerful, wearing a dress like an upside-down cathedral. There are hints of the Madonna in the open- armed stance and the dress suggests complexity in its architecture. I took inspiration from Ellen Terry, the Victorian actress, who was actively involved in assembling her costumes when playing Shakespearian heroines. Theatre offers a rare opportunity to be outrageous, flamboyant, or daring in a ‘safe’ space. I wanted also to hint at the temporary nature of this position – real life reasserts itself and the role becomes akin to a dream.
First Person Singular, by Selena Steele, Pigment Ink Print on Archival Paper, 3, 21 x 30 cm, NFS. I started off trying to avoid including any image of myself at all. Working with dolls, shadows and absence rather than presence. But then I realised a self-portrait exhibition is not the place to hide. So, my piece changed completely and is now presented as a triptych of book covers, a selection of themes from a life so far.
In the next few posts we will look at the individual self portraits and statements from the artists taking part in HEO and the individual ways that the artists interpreted the brief. Artists work is displayed in order that it has been submitted.
HEO, Self Portrait Exhibition on Female Empowerment is curated by Claire Dorey, Selena Steele, and Maria Beddoes. It is the final exhibition in the HEO trilogy of exhibitions, following on from Silence Is Over and ExVoto. It is on View at The Omnibus Theatre Clapham from the 6th – 31st January 2019
Written by Claire Dorey