Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Eyes Have It

Hello everyone

I hope you have managed to catch some sun in between dodging the downpours.

I wanted to steer your attention to some captivating and haunting gazes in the current exhibition 'Head to Head'.
First of all I'd like to start with a piercing stare that is not part of the exhibition:

Thia photo is simply called 'Afghan Girl' and became one of the most famous National Geographic pictures ever. Indeed, it was featured on the cover of National Geographic's Top 100 Pictures of all time. This 12 year old refugee's photo was taken in 1984 and her iconic stare captivated audiences for years. It was the first time anyone had ever taken her photo.
If you have never seen 'Afghan Girl' before you can read more about her here:

 I brought Afghan Girl into the equation as, on viewing David Hosie's 'Arabian Child' I immediately thought of her.

'Arabian Child', oil on panel by David Hosie.
Similarly, 'Ghanaian Girl II' thumps me with the same impact as Afghan Girl.

David Hosie has painted this beautiful woman twice now and she is a direct result of a field trip David made to Ghana last year.
Tired of the constant reports of economic doom and gloom in this country, David wanted to get a fresh perspective on poverty. I thought his trip to be admirable:the photos he sent back to us were pretty grave and I for one was also given a new perspective on what it is to be skint.

And look at these boys, and look them in the eyes:


These 'Young Spartans' look rough and ready and, for me, there is no escaping their gaze which is determined and yet vulnerable at the same time.

This next painting I definitely have eyes for:

'Bonxie', oil and pencil on card by Joyce Gunn Cairns.

Gosh, the haunting stare of 'Bonxie'.
After Joyce's work was hung a lot of time was spent simply experiencing this painting.
Now, there's a beautiful and moving story behind 'Bonxie', which I believe should be shared between the four walls of the gallery. For me, 'Bonxie' is a jewel in its own right and I am pleased, from the response, that many others can see this too. That there 'happens' to be an intelligent and sensitive seed behind 'Bonxie's' creation is an added bonus. Of course intelligent and sensitive is artist Joyce Gunn Cairns all over.

Next time we will be looking more at Joyce Gunn Cairns and the work of Sophie McKay Knight. In particular this treasure:

'Mirror Mirror on the Wall', acrylic and screenprint on canvas by Sophie McKay Knight.

Oh, and I want to leave you with another iconic gaze which is also captivating many people....

'Antonine Hill', oil on canvas by Philip Braham.
This painting will be shown in Phil's solo exhibition 'Still' which opens next month.

People are fascinated by people.

Happy Sundays x


  1. Brilliant exhibition and images, Alison! Very captivating.

  2. Thanks Trevor! I knew you would like it...CLASS!