Discovering the Portrait
14 December 2019 - 9 February 2020
Legacy, memory & power
It might be one of the oldest forms of art-making, but portraiture is still a surprising and innovative genre. Found at home on bedside table, or hanging in a national gallery, the truth of its longevity lies in its ability to elicit emotional responses, challenge the way we see things and give us new perspectives.
Traditionally, portraits were tools of the rich and powerful, who became patrons to painters in order to secure their legacy. It became pivotal in politics, religion and social standing and to some degree remains so today.
While the popularity of the camera in the 1800s undermined the portrait’s exclusive ties to wealth, its accessibility did little to dilute its power. Combining portraiture with different mediums, different voices and different stories opened up this art form to interrogation and experimentation.
Here, in a collaboration between the Riddoch Art Gallery and Walkway Gallery, portraiture is explored in its broadest possible application, shape-shifting from people, to landscape, from painting to print, striving to unearth a certain quality, a timeless expression capturing a recognizable likeness of the world
Image: Bronek KOZKA, The best years of our lives, 2008, pigment based digital print on paper, Riddoch Art Gallery, Mount Gambier.