TAKE A CLOSER LOOK
 

What you see in these portraits are the influential figures who shaped and formed the basis of ourEast Anglian Heritage; so why are their faces so unfamiliar?
Is this situation a simple matter of “familiarity breeding a form of contempt”
or one of not seeing or valuing what surrounds us because if it is we would be  in danger of losing it?

The people shown here are not like self the publicists we know today.
What they achieved lived on as substantial and significant collections which fill our museums and inform us of our past providing us with a vital “cushion” against life’s constant and incessantly conflicting demands!

In these Portraits I am trying to rectify something of this situation so I began by searching for their formal portraits and accepting that they could only form a starting position for new and more vital form of portraiture.
So I have tried represent them here directly through what they actually valued. Either the words they wrote or the works they collected and donated.

In this way I have presented Lisa and Robert Sainsbury sharing 50/50 with many of their collected works and Thomas Clarkson through a digital “watermarking” technique on the actual documents he showed to Tsar Alexander of Russia in his life-long attempt to outlaw Slavery.

In the same way we can recognise Lisa and Robert Sainsbury despite their half covered faces so in the Clarkson portrait we can directly experience his actual likeness while still able to read every word on the booklets 27 pages!

I have used this same dual approach to each of my portraits. I have tried to treat each one as a kind of living “second life sitter”!
Only once the precise medium which they so highly valued is established as the principle means of realisation, can the portrait be made using it.

 

Gainsborough Dupont in “feather-light touches”
James Reeve in a Norwich School’s “flat washes”
Gershom Parkington above a “time measuring dial”
King James on his 400 year old frontis-piece Bible

Richard Fitzwilliam hundreds of crops from his founding collection