Collaborative Portraiture

June 2017

As part of my current research project working with Many Hands Craft Collective, we have been developing imagery around the notion of “what makes a collective a community”. Responding to key words and symbols initiated by the group, one phrase which kept emerging in our discussions was around the collective being “present and continuous”. Whilst this phrase seemed one of the more complex to assign a photographic image to for its representation – one of the group members raised the idea that it is the group itself (them as people, living, breathing, doing) who are present and continuous – living in the hear and now.

And so we found ourselves interested in classic portraiture as a tool for expressing what the collective were about – an idea earlier dismissed as too literal or one that some of the group felt uncomfortable with. Each of the portraits were captured by another member of the group, with myself simply supporting the process.

Shades of teal were used to reference the colour of the collective’s logo, to democratise the setting and to reference how the colour supported the group’s ability to feel calm and content.

Jim taken by Ged & Charlie1  jackie by julie1 re-do out of focus  Ged by julie1







After a cultural / exhibition trip to Liverpool to visit both Open Eye Gallery and FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) the group were interested in how digital screens and the moving image were used as an alternative ways to display portraiture or landscape scenes. Still playing on the idea of “present and continuous” I suggested we could look to create a series of moving portraits using film, which the group responded positively to and will be our last active session before moving on to curate the full body of work produced.

Present and Continuous – Collaborative portraits © Elizabeth Wewiora & Many Hands Craft Collective, 2017

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