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Seeking the Family Face An experiment in and investigation of portraiture

Lutyens-Stobbs, Anne (2019) Seeking the Family Face An experiment in and investigation of portraiture. Masters thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

I look at portraiture in the context of its use in history, contemporary use and social practice: how and why to paint at a time when photography is ubiquitous. Some artists are happy to use photographs as studies and source material, while others prefer to work only from a live sitter or model. I prefer to work from life rather than photographs, but had to reassess my own working preferences and find ways to interpret and use photographic and other sources when I chose my family as a subject. (None of them lived close by, and I included some from previous generations who are now dead). In doing so I have developed practice in drawing on memory and emotion as part of the relationship between artist and sitter or absent motif, which I now find to be a core part of the endeavour. I learned to develop my judgment to distinguish between attempting simply to capture the features of the sitter (as a snapshot or passport photograph might do), and an insightful portrait. I have gained more awareness of social and political implications of who, how and why I and others try to depict or just record peoples’ features, whether as works of art or the many other ways they are used, or mis-used, in modern society as in the past. Portraiture has evolved as a genre in form and representation, from the earliest periods of human history through to the present, and now appears ubiquitous. In all its forms it is always a search for and acknowledgment of the person the artist perceives and wants to portray. Its basis in our interest in genealogy, familial and social groupings and the projection of rank and position remain a fascination across our cultures as well as time.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Depositing User: Anne Lutyens-Stobbs
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2019 09:50
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2019 09:50
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24463

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