DIALOGUE THROUGH PORTRAITURE
My research grew out of the question: ‘How can portraiture increase communication between individuals?’
This exhibition evolved out of my arts-based research project which explored how participation as a process of portrait making can break down barriers and enhance communication between participants.
I worked with the Rocket Artists, a Brighton-based charity that run supported studios for learning disabled artists. During my research, I collaborated with Alison Peacock over a period of 6 sessions. We explored several life drawing and self-portraiture exercises; through constant discussion these sessions evolved into a series of experiments with collage, largely directed by Alison’s enthusiasm for the medium.
I discovered, during our sessions that successful collaboration depends upon open conversations between participants; that to achieve this balance one must be attentive to the working methods of others and that to do this, one must sincerely accept that the process of making, rather than the product, is the shared objective.
The portraits in the exhibitions are of fellow students and one work colleague. They are made using discarded materials from meals we shared; the choice of materials is designed to reflect the principal of social warmth which I believe characterises these works.
An influence throughout this project has been the work of Kurt Schwitters whose pioneering work with collage reflects a relationship between found and discarded materials and spontaneity.