Inter-Action MK present: woMEn
4 January - 3 February 2013
Special Event: 17 January 2013 / 6 - 9pm / Free
The exhibition is the culmination of a series of workshops commissioned by Inter- Action MK in 2011 in which artist Elizabeth Beston (aka ShutterBetty) was invited to work with two groups of local women. Many of the women had been supported by the St Francis’ Children’s Society’s Birth Connections project, a service that offers support and counselling to birth families living without their children. The aim of the workshops was to enable the participants to contemplate and express their personal experiences.
In her own practice Elizabeth Beston focuses primarily on self-portraiture and the documentation of personal imagination and emotion, which she explored with the participating women. During the workshops Elizabeth used her practical experience to facilitate each image, acting as a technical and creative sounding-board for those taking part, whilst ensuring that participants had creative control over how personal ideas and feelings were portrayed in each artwork. The participants used Elizabeth’s large-format camera, and had just a single chance to capture their idea, shooting only a single frame.
The final exhibition in MK Gallery’s Project Space in January 2013 features photographic self-portraits made by the participants from the women’s groups alongside work by local female artists. The self-portrait has long been a powerful tool used creatively by female artists, including Claude Cahun, Frida Khalo and Cindy Sherman. This exhibition celebrates and explores the genre on a local level, sharing the diverse application of self-portraiture and showing the powerful, personal and imaginative art works that can be created by both artists and non-artists alike.
Elizabeth Beston commended the participants describing the resulting photographs as “personal, imaginative and revealing”.
Women from MK are invited to submit their own self portraits via our blog, which will be shown at the preview evening. You can be a part of this exhibition by creating your own self-portrait of any medium to feature on the accompanying blog womenmk.wordpress.com. Email your image (no less than 72ppi and 500 pixels wide) to firstname.lastname@example.org
During the special event on Thursday 17 January between 6-9pm all female visitors will be invited to contribute to the exhibition by creating their own self-portrait.