Jemima and Dolly Brown’s Pinkie BrownI’ll Be Your Mirror

Sixth floor of Gostins Building, Hanover Street
13th September – 26th November 2006 (Mon-Sat 10:00-17:00)

Reviewed by Josephine Raven

I’ll Be Your Mirror - curated by David Hancock and Richard Meaghan - addresses how artists in the twenty first century explore and challenge traditional notions of portraiture. The artists represented here are not necessarily portrait artists and works have also been specially commissioned for this exhibition.

Jemima Brown’s disembodied head and alter ego Dolly Brown looms as you exit the lift, surrounded by a garland of multicoloured plastic flowers and draped sheets. By contrast, David Hancock’s large-scale portraits, entitled I Wear Black on the Outside, depict ‘disaffected youth’ - the artist as unseen viewer capturing a private moment of contemplation. This level of realism is also evident in 9 Henderson Street, a series of six prints observing everyday activities from shaving legs to watching telly in a dressing gown.

Artists such as Richard Meaghan and Andrew Magee take a more fictional approach, their compositions taking on a dream-like and utopian quality. Leo Fitzmaurice and Stuart Semple address the public’s obsession with consumerism, celebrity and the media, and the shallowness of contemporary society. While Isobel Young’s miniature portraits are incomparable, choosing uniquely to depict famous animals in history.

As promised, this exhibition offers many different approaches to portraiture. If you can get past the slightly unusual setting, as is common with many of the Independents displays, it is well worth a look.

Printer friendly page

Comments are closed for this review