“In the same way that I bare the souls of my sitters, I am exposing my own and I would like you to see it.” – Emma Hopkins
Emerging Artists, Emma Hopkins and Sarah Jane Moon give us a glimpse into the inner workings behind the finished portrait.
The two artists have been invited to takeover the Mall Galleries Learning Centre in order to experiment with alternative ways of sharing their work with audiences, giving the public a better insight into their individual practices. Multidisciplinary works interact with the 19th century architecture of the space, creating an immersive environment, exploring the relationship between painting, new media and other disciplines.
Both artists will be present throughout the exhibition to meet visitors and discuss the hidden stories behind their artworks.
This informal residency project is part of the Mall Galleries Artists’ Professional Development Programme that aims to engage artists at different stages in their career and from all backgrounds through opportunities to share ideas and experiences about what it is to be an artist today.
Sarah Jane’s work reflects an abiding interest in the individual’s presentation of the self, the artist’s perception of the subject and the gap that forever persists between. Through her work she asks such questions as;
“What is the relationship between the socially constructed persona and the self? Who are we in the presence of ourselves and others? Where is identity located and how is it performed?”
Sarah Jane has also been collaborating with American artist Christa Holka on a project that involves documenting and celebrating the studios of members of The Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Christa will present some of the images along with soundbites from the artist interviews of this process during the exhibition, giving a privileged and personal insight into the work spaces of some of the UK's most respected portraitists.
Emma will be showing documentation of her encounters with Geri Morgan. They are recorded through preliminary sketches and paintings and a collaboration with the video and sound artist Debra Welch.
Geri Morgan was born in London in 1926. Amongst many other things Geri is a painter and was the principal of the Byam Shaw School of Art from 1970 to 1991. Each week Emma visits Geri at his home in Islington. “We make our way slowly up the winding, creeking stairs to his studio in the attic where, after the ritual of a coffee and chat, he paints me and then I paint him.”
Emma and Sarah Jane were selected to exhibit as the Bulldog Bursary-winners for 2013 and 2014. The Bursary was created to develop the talent of an artist with potential at an early stage in their career. It is highly competitive with over 500 artists applying last year.