HEO – Self portraits and Artist’s statements 1-3

Self x 13, by Karen J Smith, 50 x 60cm, Mixed Media on Canvas, NFS.

When contemplating making a piece of self portraiture it is difficult to identify only one aspect of self, so I have explored the self in terms of portrait, environment, familiar relationships. my emotional state, the self-conscious and the Id. That is how I see myslef, hence I have made numerous images, small wire sculptures, text and sub-text to explore all aspects of self: as I see, feel, think and how to converse with the viewer

Reflections on mine, by Maggie Lloyd, 2019, Pastels, 64 x64 cm (framed) £745
A self portrait is more than just a painting of a face in a mirror. It encompasses what it is that makes a statement of yourself. As a woman life takes you over and one’s personal environment is subjugated to the calls of family and their needs. Age and widowhood has let me create a personal space that reflects my likes, my colour, my choices. This image reflects that.
My medium is pastel, I like it for it’s vibrancy, fast working, and can be overlaid as a glaze. I like the delicacy that can be obtained by using hot press watercolour paper.

I am. sun catcher, by Liz Dalton, Conte crayons on pastel paper, 30x 30cm, £250.

In Aboriginal culture Wandjina are self portraits painted by the rain and cloud spirits at the time of their death. These paintings are then refreshed by Aborigines, as a way of regenerating life force. They are simple lines with surrounding aura.I am celebrating life with an image that defies the limits of the body.This drawing came from doodles in which I depicted myself as bare back rider, water diviner and sun catcher. I was surprised at my apparent desire to tame nature and choose to develop the sun image, as it alludes to my fears about climate change. Although we harness nature to a certain extent, it would be wonderful if we could adjust the sun’s rays and reverse global warming. Perhaps I should consult the Aboriginal spirits? Making this self portrait has strengthened my resolve to do realistically, what I can to conserve our planet. Last to say, I love being exposed to the elements and feel amazing when I’ve caught the sun.


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 at the Portico Gallery and Ex Voto at Upstairs at The Ritzy. HEO is on View at The Omnibus Theatre Clapham, from Monday 6th January – Friday 31st January. Private View Monday 6th January 7-9pm

Written by Claire Dorey