The RWA begins 2014 by presenting a set of themed exhibitions exploring the concept of identity and portraiture. At the core of this series is Oneself As Another, a major exhibition curated in partnership with London-based bo.lee projects, bringing together a select group of painters, sculptors and photographers whose work explores the definition of each individual’s sense of ‘self’.
The exhibition includes work by leading twentieth century artists such as Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, famed for their brutal exposure of the individual psyche. These are shown alongside work by artists who offer an alternative to contemporary portraiture – one which acknowledges, yet refuses, the freak show of difference.
The exhibition will also include the first showing of Sanctae, an Arts Council England-funded installation by leading South West based artist Ione Rucquoi. This dramatic and moving piece provides a place for reflection, consisting of an architecturally-devised space within the gallery inhabited by larger-than-life photographic images of naked, female subjects, adorned with individually painted gold-leaf halos.
The show also presents the ‘Damaged Human’ series by Sarah Ball (2012 Welsh Artist of the Year) - beautifully rendered miniature portraits derived from medical archive photographs. Works by London-based painter Wanda Bernardino and BP Portrait prize-winner Johan Andersson likewise revel in the notion of what is revealed or hidden, while renowned photographer Bob Carlos Clarke toys with the taboo, confronting us on the edges of decency.
By bringing the unseeable and unsayable to the fore, this exhibition offers the viewer the chance to reconcile aspects of one’s own, personal narrative through the brave acknowledgement of Another.
Please note that the exhibition Oneself As Another contains adult themes, including nudity and the portrayal of bodily and facial disfigurement. If you would like further information on the content of Oneself As Another before visiting the gallery with children please call us on 0117 9735 129 and we will be happy to advise.
Oneself As Another aims to provide awareness of a number of important issues to do with identity including facial and bodily disfigurement if you would like to find out more about some of these subjects please visit the Changing Faces website.
Please note that the Portraits, Actors and Artifice, Idols and Illusions and Likenesses can be accessed without entering Oneself As Another.