Preview: 30 November 2016
Selfie became an official word in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. It has become a world wide phenomenon.
3dLab Gallery presents Louise Richards and Katherine Skinner in collaboration exploring the themes of identity and image. Louise and Kat have made work that reflects today's obsession, ‘The Selfie’, creating portraits of themselves ‘selfie ready’. The result is both beautiful and banal bringing to mind old masters like Vermeer. The subjects of the portraits being totally absorbed with their phones while taking selfies. The titles of which reflect this classical aspect
With the proliferation of the selfie, people are more aware of how they look. To be ‘selfie ready’ invariably means wearing a considerable amount of makeup! In 2006, the average woman did six makeup steps before she left the house, now it is twenty seven! (Daily Mail On-Line). Narcissism seems rife. There is a worrying number of people dying while taking
selfies and Psychologist Dr Tanya Byron warned that “sexualised, unrealistic images posted by celebrities are fuelling depression and eating disorders in young people”.
Louise and Kat used the 27 steps as a guide to applying their makeup, they also looked at tutorials on line, Kim Kardashian being an inspiration to many women. They printed off stock ‘Selfie’ poses’ as references for the shoot. The process was a revelation for Louise and it made her wonder where young women got the time for this.
“All selfies are lies, the ‘look’ is manufactured everyone ends up looking the same. Where is the individuality?” says Louise.
Along side the portraits, in a side room of the gallery, are ‘what was left’ Post Selfie 1 and Post Selfie 2. Like a guilty secret traces of makeup on a flannel and wet wipes are framed. Post Selfie 1 looks like the ghost/imprint of Portrait of a Woman and the floor is strewn with tissues also covered in makeup.
Takes a wry look at life and produces work that is thought provoking and humorous. She works with mixed media, collage and photography. Louise interweaves fairytales and mythology in to her work and uses her own experiences to explore such themes as Invisibility and Menopause highlighting aspects of life that are not usually tackled. She has previously shown in group shows with ‘Thirteen’ . Recent works include ‘Dog Walker’, ‘Invisible’, and The Menopause Game.
Australian by birth Kat is concerned about inequality especially in relation to Aboriginals. She is influenced by Aboriginal Art and symbology. She uses this background and juxtaposes it with her experiences of living in London creating a hybrid style of paintings and drawings.
Portrait of a Young Woman Taking a Selfie Portrait of a Woman Taking a Selfie
photographic print on paper photographic print on paper
50x60cm POA 50x60cm POA