Small Faces Open Exhibition
People's Portrait Project
3 March - 21 April 2017
Small Faces is a postcard portrait exhibition by everyone, for everyone. It is a collective act of creativity where anyone can submit a portrait and no-one will be turned away.
The gallery opens its doors to everyone, regardless of age or ability to encourage more creativity in the city. The aim is to make a floor to ceiling installation of portraits that covers the entire gallery in a sea of faces that reflects the community of Southampton and beyond.
This ambitious project will only succeed with your help. Get your art materials ready, get creative and send your postcard sized portraits (6" x 4") to us by 1 February 2017 in any medium.
Post your entries to: Small Faces Exhibition, Showcase Gallery, East Park Terrace, Southampton, SO14 0YN.
You are welcome to submit your own work but also to work with groups in your local area. At Showcase Gallery we have artists available to support you to create group work. Please email us to find out how we can support you.
- Submission deadline: Wednesday 1 February.
- Private view: Thursday 2 March 2017.
- For enquiries please email us or call 023 8201 2037.
Read the information sheet for more details about submitting your entry
Download the submission form
Read the full terms and conditions
Show us all what you're made of!
Expectations of the Past
by Louise Weir
16 December 2016 - 11 February 2017
Private view: Friday 6 January, 6-8pm
This new and recent work is an investigative journey of memory, identity and loss informed by Dickens' novel Great Expectations, which examines very similar themes. Exploring the text helped Louise examine her own personal history and emotional landscape, creating a dialogue between the text, isolated memories and specific events at the time of making.
Louise has repeatedly visited locations from Dickens' novel and those featured in her own poetry. They draw on memories of real characters and locations around her childhood home in the north west of England.
In her work, Louise creates an emotional landscape as well as a physical one. Elements fragment, reappear and echo to create a mysterious place where the stories and memories overlap, meet and converse; 'real' memories and 'fictional' narratives that co-exist in parallel landscapes converge.
At each location Louise collected new items to draw with, such as grasses, seed pods, flowers, feathers, earth and discarded items particular to that space. Using water from streams she mixed mud with paint, letting rain fall on the artwork; pressing flowers and printing from them. This was a vital part of capturing the magical quality of each location to convey that drawings are not just a response to a place, they are bound up with it.
At first, Louise drew in sketchbooks, moving on to larger sheets of paper and pots of paint over time, and progressing from twigs and grasses to small branches and larger decorating brushes. These larger drawings acted as a starting point for further investigation and development, both in the print studio at Solent University's School of Art Design and Fashion, and in her studio in London Fields, Hackney.
Her response to location is informed by loss, memories and a new appreciation of what can be tied up in the memory of a 'place', especially one we call home. This dialogue between past and present is reflected in Louise's methodology, which brings together a breadth of traditional and digital processes.
Louise chose to print all texts using letterpress - a printing method rarely used commercially today, but common practice in the nineteenth century. She used a Baskerville font (an 'old style' serif text) to capture the mood and feel of a literary work. Monotype was cast by Stanley Lane at his type foundry and workshop in Stroud, Gloucestershire, a place knee deep in history, upholding a craft and tradition that was once a mainstay of the print industry. When type is being made, the room is very hot and noisy, with a rich mixture of smells and sounds and textures. Type is usually returned and smelted down for future commissions, but the text used for Louise's show will be retained as a working artwork and also for posterity, as this will be one of the last small jobs Stanley Lane takes on.
Louise's poems were printed at the London Centre for Book Arts on a Stephenson Blake 25 printing press, with the help of Simon Goode, on paper supplied by GF Smith.
The exhibition will continue at Showcase Gallery until 11 February and then tour to:
- The Gallery at Bank Quay House, 2017
- The Dickens Museum, 2018
You can find out more about Louise and her work on her website and on Twitter.
This exhibition was funded by the Arts Council England
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