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Susan Aldworth: The Portrait Anatomised
The National Portrait Gallery, London aims to increase the appreciation and understanding of contemporary forms of portraiture. Aldworth’s monochrome, multi-image works are made by using a printmaking technique inspired by neuroscientific imagery and the works in The Portrait Anatomised will explore the relationship between mind and body.
Aldworth’s unique working methods combine traditional print processes with state of the art images such as medical brain scans, electroencephalograms (EEG) and digital photography. Each portrait in the display is two metres high and comprised of nine separate prints. The works in the display depict three sitters: Elisabeth, Fiona and Max who all live with the common condition of epilepsy. Epilepsy is caused by disrupted electrical charges in the brain and affects 1 in 100 people in Britain.
Aldworth worked closely with the three sitters and posed the questions: ‘What is the subjective experience of having a fit like? How does epilepsy affect your life?’ For Elisabeth her fertility has been affected, for Max the periods of blankness are the most worrying and Fiona feels that the condition has a stigma attached to it which affects her ability to be open about it. The time Aldworth spends with her subjects and her innovative approach to printmaking combine to provide an image which portrays both the emotional and physical self.
Susan Aldworth is an experimental printmaker and filmmaker. She holds Research Fellowships at both Swansea Metropolitan University and London Metropolitan University. She is currently Artist in Residence at the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University working on a project exploring the narratives of schizophrenia. Her work is held in public and private collections including the V&A, the British Museum and the Wellcome Collection Library. www.susanaldworth.com
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Venue: National Portrait Gallery
→ Charing Cross 6 min walk
→ Charing Cross 3 min walk
→ Leicester Square 3 min walk