The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, November 27, 2015

National Portrait Gallery Explores New Forms of Portraiture in Exhibition
Paiwand #2. ©Faisal Abdu Allah and the Chasing Mirrors Collective.
LONDON.- Chasing Mirrors is an exhibition of new work exploring alternative forms of self-representation and portraiture by contemporary artist Faisal Abdu'Allah and the Chasing Mirrors Collective, a group of young people from Arabic-speaking communities in Brent, Barnet and Ealing.

As a response to the National Portrait Gallery's Collection the artists set about creating a reflection of their own identity, age and ethnicity, to be displayed at the Gallery. Avoiding conventional portraiture, the finished works show differences and similarities between members of the Chasing Mirrors Collective and the audience in these multi-dimensional portraits. The exhibition marks the start of a three-year project at the Gallery made possible through funding from John Lyon's Charity.

The exhibition is comprised of large-scale composite photographs, three constantly changing plasma screens, still-lives of personal objects and textual portraits. The plasma screens show portraits of the individuals from the Collective that change every few seconds. This work encapsulates the idea of the exhibition title Chasing Mirrors: the pursuit of the impossible single defining portrait.

The composite photographs in the exhibition combine the facial features of the members of the three groups who make up the Collective, An-Nisa from Brent, Paiwand and their partners in Barnet, and Tallo in Ealing. All of the groups are from disparate backgrounds and ethnicities but by amalgamating the features of the individuals, the eyebrows of one, the mouth or hair of another, a new portrait is created representing the whole group.

Further portraits are created from still life photographs of personal objects belonging to the Collective. These objects include an iPod, a handbag, a coin and a trainer - blown up and rendered in laser etchings on paper. This presentation of these everyday objects invests them with importance, emphasizing the significance of the objects to the individual and illustrates another facet of their identity.

When developing the exhibition in workshops, Faisal Abdu'Allah asked the Collective a series of questions, for example, What is your favorite food? If you could who would you raise from the dead? What is your star sign? What is the last thing you laughed really hard at? These questions are displayed on one wall of the Gallery and the answers on the other as textual portraits. Originally, this exercise allowed the Collective to highlight the similarities between themselves, and in an exhibition context they draw attention to similarities between the audience and the Collective.

Chasing Mirrors is the culmination of collaboration between the artist and three community organizations. The organizations are; An-Nisa, a women-managed organization established in 1985 to promote a British Muslim identity; Paiwand, an Afghan Community Organization established to unite and improve the quality of life of the Afghan refugee community in the UK along with their partners Barnet Refugee Service and Barnet Youth and Connexions; and Tallo, a community centre on the South Acton Estate which works with the Somali Community including asylum seekers and refugees mainly from Somalia. After the close of the exhibition an archive box containing documentation from the project and original works will be added to the reference collection of the Gallery as a record of the Chasing Mirrors Collective.

Each year, as part of this three-year project made possible with support from John Lyon's Charity, a new lead artist will collaborate with participants on a series of workshops and each autumn an exhibition of their work will take place in the Gallery. The project will vary each year according to the artist's practice, medium and their perspective and response to the National Portrait Gallery's Collection which they will explore with the participants.

This year's lead artist is Faisal Abdu'Allah. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, his work crosses the borders of photography, the printed image and lens-based installation. Interested in brokering disparate worlds, his work includes The Garden of Eden (2003), and more recently Gold Finger (2007). Faisal Abdu'Allah has participated in Sharjah, Torino and Tallinn Biennales and has been the recipient of the Decibel Artist Award 2005 and recently the first prize at the Tallinn Print Triennial 2007. He is currently in collaboration with Christian Boltanski on 14 years in between. Senior lecturer in Fine Art at the University of East London, he lives and maintains a studio in London.

National Portrait Gallery | Chasing Mirrors | Faisal Abdu'Allah | Barnet and Ealing |

Today's News

October 5, 2009

Severin Wunderman's Collection Stands The Test Of Time At Bonhams

The Spirit of Jazz Arrives at the Getty Images Gallery on London

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Opens Modernism as a Ruin: An Archaeology of the Present

Exhibition at the School of Visual Arts Showcases Iconic Advertising and Graphic Design

Comprehensive Survey of German Impressionism to Open at Kunsthalle Bielefeld

BMA Celebrates Edgar Allan Poe's Bicentennial with Spooky Art and Illustrations

Former Director of the Royal Academy of Arts Launches New Company

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at NYU to Show European Artifacts

Installations by Michel Francois to be Shown at S.M.A.K.

Frick Art Museum Opens Exhibition of Photographs by Esther Bubley

Eight San Francisco Artists Respond to Surrealist Masterworks

Poland Street Underground, an Annual Two-Day Event in London During November

Sims Reed Gallery Acquires Sir Eduardo Paolozzi's Estate of Print Editions

'Sooners' Exhibit Explores Oklahoma, New Mexico Art

Exhibition Critically Examines the Unusual and Absurd in Art

National Portrait Gallery Explores New Forms of Portraiture in Exhibition

KGB Studio & Gallery Refocuses Time with Exhibition of Photographs by Luis C. Garza

Meijer Gardens Premiere Major U.S. Retrospective Exhibition of British Sculptor Lynn Chadwick

Celebrate Sustainable Living at the 2009 Danks Street Festival

Access Awareness Honour for Royal Ontario Museum

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Announces David R. Brigham as New President and CEO

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- First solo exhibition by the American artist Mickalene Thomas in Belgium opens at Galerie Nathalie Obadia

2.- Israel accidentally finds ancient mosaic that served as pavement for a courtyard in a villa

3.- The address of Johannes Vermeer's the Little Street discovered by Rijksmuseum curator

4.- The nine lives of Russia's Hermitage cats that root out unwanted guests: Rodents

5.- Robbers make off with masterpieces by Rubens and Tintoretto from museum in Verona

6.- 17th century letters at Museum of Communication reveal refugees 'sense of loss'

7.- New museum dedicated to the artist Mu Xin opens in Zhejiang Province, China

8.- Who are the most prolific art collectors in the US today?

9.- Rubens House brings newly discovered study for a portrait by Van Dyck to Antwerp

10.- "The Nude in the XX and XXI century" curated by Jane Neal opens at Sotheby's S/2 London

Related Stories

National Portrait Gallery in London buys artist Craigie Aitchison's own slashed self-portrait

National Portrait Gallery presents 89 sitters in one innovative group video portrait

Sweden's Nationalmuseum announces acquisition of photographic portraits by Hans Gedda

Gallery ups prize money for BP Portrait Award 2013 as call for entries is announced

David LaChapelle portrait of Alexander McQueen and his 'Muse' Isabella Blow acquired by National Portrait Gallery

Newly acquired portraits of Johnny Vegas, Matt Lucas, and Jimmy Carr in National Portrait Gallery display

National Portrait Gallery announces Lucian Freud portraits exhibition in February 2012

National Portrait Gallery Will Keep "Felix, June 5, 1994" by AA Bronson in "Hide/Seek"

Ballet in Focus, a Case Display of Nearly 40 Portraits Shown at the National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian Stands Firmly Behind "Hide/Seek" Exhibition

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Social Network Manager and Translator: Norma Cristina Pérez Ayala Cano

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful