…a celebrity of her time ……


Catriona, a local artist has kindly written our latest post.

Working with the young people in The Highfield Unit on the Me, Myself and Manet project was such a privilege. Having been to see the big exhibition in London a couple of years ago of Manet’s paintings, I was really excited about the prospect of doing some work with the young people which would be inspired by one of his great works. It struck me that a good way into making some artwork around the painting for the young people would be to get them to look at her as a celebrity of her time and ask them to think of a person that they admire who is in the public eye today. We looked at loads of magazines and the young people printed off images of singers and sports people who they were interested in. I was definitely showing my age as I had to ask on more than one occasion, “who is that….and what do they do?”. But I thought this in its self was quite interesting as it shows how fame and celebrity is a constantly moving and shifting thing.

Nicola Bird gave a short but very informative talk about portraiture through the ages. We then set about making double portraits of Mlle Claus and our chosen celebrities. I was so excited with the way in which The Young People set about creating their portraits; cutting out images and painting over them. In one case Mlle Claus became merged with Sid Vicious. This has to be seen to be fully appreciated! In another, the features of Marilyn Monroe hover hauntingly over the violinists face.

There was an energy in the room that I was delighted to be a part of. This was spurred on in no small way by all the staff in The Highfield who rolled up their sleeves and got on with making their own portraits alongside the young people. Also, a big thank you to Stuart who’s excellent film of the workshops shows how much fun was had by all….great sound track too! Thanks Stuart! I can’t wait to see all the pieces hanging in The Ashmolean very soon!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.