“Over the past few months I have been asking friends and acquaintances to sit for me. Each drawing marks a specific time and place of a shared experience. For some it has been a repeated exercise, the drawings charting a period of our evolving relationship, changes happening in each other’s lives.
To draw portraits is intimate. It is a peculiar situation of mindfulness, particularly in our digital age. To be alone in a room together, still, not exchanging many words. To be actively invited to dwell on the playful pleasure of exploring another person. Taking in the way they hold themselves, the character of their expressions, their features, lips, hands. Becoming aware of the distance between you, their weight, strength and fragility. And to leave a record of this on your page – a record that can be surprising to both of you. It is a reverential process to try to make a truthful image of someone, whatever that is.
Among other things it is an exercise in empathy and love. I often find myself laughing aloud while drawing as I get caught up in how extraordinary this person is, how endeared I am towards them and their particularities.
I know all the sitters, in one way or another, but they don’t all know each other. Some of them I had only met in this past year. I soon realised that I was interested in bringing their portraits together for this exhibition. They represent the diffuse social network that I experience living in a city. Versions of my own identity seen in the relationships that make it up. I enjoy the playful relationship which this gallery of characters has to the galleries of snaps that we see on social media.”
Claire Price is a young artist based in Hackney. She grew up in Exmoor and gained a first in BA History at Oxford, followed by MA-level Postgraduate Art at the Royal Drawing School. Her work makes leaps between these influences and her current experiences and relationships in the city. As well as portraits, her practice includes paintings, drawings and comics and she was awarded the Graphic Novel Prize by the Royal Drawing School. Her work is inspired by the magical-realist approach in literature, and the ways historical narratives are created and told. When not in the studio she is a freelance tutor in history and art and teaches drawing at the British Museum. She has shown in group exhibitions at Windsor Castle and Christie's and has work in private collections including those of HRH The Prince of Wales, and philanthropist Sir Michael Moritz. Since graduating in 2013 she has been awarded a residency at Dumfries House and has been selected for both the Threadneedle Prize and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, where she was featured by Tracey Emin in her 'Top Picks' video for the BBC. Throughout January 2015 she displayed work at the Royal Academy of Art beside Michaelangelo's Taddei Tondo and held a pop-up live portrait drawing studio to coincide with the RA's Moroni exhibition. In the past year she has drawn portraits of Stella McCartney's family and was featured in the national news for her sketch of HRH the Prince of Wales.
Opening Event : (Free Event with wine reception, all Welcome) Friday 8th May 5.30-9pm
Exhibition continues until 6pm 17th May.
Gallery Opening Hours:
11am-6pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Monday to Thursday by appointment only, please call Rachel on 07715816779
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