'Portrait (for a screenplay) of Beth Harmon'

28 Aug 2009 – 19 Sep 2009

Event times

Thurs - Sat, 11- 6pm


London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 67, 149, 242, 243
  • Old Street / Haggerston

Save Event: 'Portrait (for a screenplay) of Beth Harmon'

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A project by Sean Edwards, with Paul Corcoran, Sara MacKillop, Natasy MacVoy, and Anthony Shapland


Portrait: Noun. 1, an artistic representation of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders. 2, a written or filmed description. 3, a format of printed matter which is higher than it is wide. (Oxford English Dictionary) Screenplay: Noun. The script of a film, including acting instructions and scene directions. (Oxford English Dictionary) Beth Harmon: Eight year old Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable. That is until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life she feels herself fully in control. By the age of sixteen, she's competing for the U.S. open championship. But as Beth hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting. (Blurb from The Queens Gambit, Vintage Books edition) Gambit: A chess opening in which one player offers to give up material, usually a pawn, sometimes a piece or more, in the expectation of gaining a positional advantage… The word is derived from the Italian Gambetta, a wrestling term for tripping up the heels. (David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, The Oxford Companion to Chess) It started as the idea for a work that became a project. Things happen like that. Beth Harmon was fascinating, but she only existed on those 243 pages of the novel. ‘Portrait (for a screenplay) of Beth Harmon' is an ongoing project by Sean Edwards inviting artists, curators, writers, musicians and actors to read the book and is Edwards' way of expanding her character. The works in this exhibition are an evocation of Beth Harmon. They are not in themselves portraits, but studies, notes in the margins, dog eared pages and collected Post-it notes. *‘The Queens Gambit' has been in pre-production for years. Bound up in difficulties concerning cast, directors and legal matters. Tevis himself wrote a motion picture treatment and the beginnings of a screenplay. The most recent adaption was scheduled to begin in 2010 directed by Heath Ledger. Ellen Page was to play Beth. Paul Corcoran (B. 1978, Dublin, based London) gained his BA Fine Art at Newcastle University (2001) and his MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art (2005). Sara MacKillop (B. 1973, Bromley, based London) gained her BA at Leeds University (1996) and her MA at the Royal College of Art (2001). Natasha MacVoy (B. 1977, London, based London) gained her BA Sculpture at the University of Wales Institute (2001), and an MFA from the University of West England, Bristol (2009). Anthony Shapland (B. 1971, Pontypridd, based in Cardiff) gained his BFA at Solent University Southampton/Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain (1996). Sean Edwards (B. 1980, Cardiff, based Abergavenny) gained his BA Fine Art at University of Wales Institute (2003) and his MA Fine Art from The Slade School of Fine Art (2005).

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