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