York Art Gallery – More portraits

Our second visit to York Art Gallery involved looking at Vanitas paintings. These use symbols within the painting to represent learning and time – particuarly how little time we have. In the galleries we identified this in paintings by the use of skulls, egg timers, dead animals and fruit.

This was a popular form in the 16th and 17th centuries, but people are now looking at the genre again. In the ‘Passed as Present’ exhibition we looked at a video piece where we saw a makeup compact being manufactured and used. Griselda also mentioned One Dollar Bill by Yukinori Yanagi. You can see more about this and other modern Vanitas work at http://www.vmfa.museum/vanitas.html

We then put together our own Vanitas piece using the objects we had brought in or drawn. These included mobile phones, a sword, model car, skis and makeup. Picture coming soon!

A trip to the upstairs gallery gave us the opportunity to look at the story within the painting ‘Hogarths Studio in 1739’ by Edward Ward. The picture was full of different things and Griselda told us the interesting background to the image. The painting features Captain Thomas Coram who established the Foundling Hospital in London. The charity he established is still going today – Coram.

We also discussed some people that we might invite to be involved in the project, including professions and personalities.

On our return to the studio we created some more images using our body outlines as the starting point. We then filled in the picture with images and words in response to some questions.

Next session we’ll be looking more into this idea of what makes us an individual and trying to come up with some questions we could ask our sitters.

Comments Are Closed