Saturday, 6 October 2012

A Different kind of Portraiture

Following on from my previous post way back in august; ‘I want to touch your face’, I realised that I never fully explained my work. I began looking at portraiture in the form of the continuous line drawings, but then it developed as I combined my portraits with the visual textures that I had made by collaging them. The unusual shapes created from the line drawings made good opportunities to do some cutting and sticking; all the negative spaces within the forms were perfect to work with.

Here are a few examples;

I was researching into the way that the illustration altered the ability to identify ones subject, which led me onto the subject of recognition where I learnt about the condition ‘Prosopagnosia’, also known as ‘face blindness’.  It is defined as ‘an inability or difficulty in recognizing familiar faces; which may be congenital or as result from injury or disease of the brain.’ I heard about something similar to this affliction, but I had no idea to the extent of the condition. This example here is pretty crazy:

So I really wanted to make work that reflected the struggle that Prosopagnosia sufferers have to go through. I tried to represent the struggle through dissembled portraiture; the struggle the viewer (who doesn’t have the condition) goes through trying to assembled the face is parallel with a Prosopagnosia suffer trying  to decipher  a normal face.

I experimented with keeping the original ‘outline’ of the face, because suffers can actually recognize someone from other features that aren’t on the face like their hair, it’s just the specific facial features; the nose, eyes, mouth etc that are all jumbled up.. Although the portraits were all irregular in shape anyway as a result of the touch drawings, the parallel is created.

I experimented with size, would the face be even harder to read if the piece was really big? Or would it be easier? I experimented with making the shapes even more obscure and unreadable.  .

In the end for my exhibition piece, I decided on a final image which was repeated nine times but was made of different materials in each piece so that the level of difficulty to read the face altered in each image. 

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