J. Franklin Wright Art Gallery Presents "Faced With" by Anna Whalen


J. Franklin Wright Gallery Presents:  Faced With by Anna Whalen

Made possible with the support of Argyle Fine Art, Halifax NS

Show dates: 

November 30, 2021 to February 28, 2022 (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm and Sat/Sun 8am-4pm)

128 media portraits from 2020/2021

In November of 2019 I had set a personal challenge to paint a portrait every day. I wanted to build skills and learn better how to work small. I set a perimeter around my portrait

Choices: it had to be a face that came across my phone, computer or tv when I was actively and/or passively consuming media. The images in this collection are screenshots from newsfeeds, social media, and streaming services like Netflix & Amazon.

After my first few streaming entertainment portraits like 50Cent & Michael K. Williams, the face of a woman in the Australian fires showed up in my news feed, then Don Cherry came across my phone, I screenshotted them. Shortly after, the face of a young woman at a vigil for the downed Ukrainian flight 752, then the leader of the WHO, then frontline medical workers in Italy, then Fauci and I soon realized I might be making a larger portrait, live so to speak, during a point in history when we really didn’t have any idea what we were facing. I kept going and going and set a goal of 100 portraits. I now have 128 and feel like I could never finish.

The thing about this ‘unprecedented time’ is we’ve experienced the vast majority of it through our devices. Most of us were locked down at home, isolated from each other and from these events. Our own media consumption increased exponentially, for better or for worse, it's a complicated relationship we have with our devices.

“To be liminal is to be in between”, this is the theme for Nocturne 2021. This collection of portraits is like a visual constellation of the past two years, we truly are living in between the past and the future.

Each portrait took about 3hrs to complete.

I tried to my best to treat all the faces with respect, regardless of their political leanings or allegations. The Nova Scotian faces felt so close to me (and hopefully to the viewers as well) I especially tried to represent them with a deep regard and humanity. This became a very difficult series to create but I do hope, as a collection, it provides the viewer with a reflective constellation of the events we have gone through together.

More info:  www.argylefineart.com

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