The self-portrait is not merely a convenient practice subject, or an exercise in narcissism. By confronting one’s own image, the painter confronts an issue at the very heart of representation: the balance between observation and invention.
Even a supposedly 'straight-forward' or 'truthful' observational self-portrait reveals much about its maker through a myriad of small - often unconscious - choices made during the process.
Other artists may choose to acknowledge the interior, fictional or performative aspect of the self.
And yet, whether seemingly observed or invented, can we ever be sure of what is a mask, and what is 'real'?
"There's no art, to find the mind's construction in the face"
"False face must hide what the false heart doth know"
Who do you side with; the benevolent King, who trusts others, and his own ability to read them, or the scheming usurper, who comes to know and exploit the falsity of appearances?
Perhaps both are right: appearances can be deceptive, but even a seasoned deceiver reveals more than they know.
In this exhibition, we present self-portraits by 14 contemporary artists, including paintings, drawings and multimedia works. Though varied in style and approach, they all demonstrate that the self-portrait is not as simple as a reflection in the mirror.
Pubic Opening (everyone welcome)
1st March 7-10pm
Exhibtion Continues until 11th March
Gallery Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm