Friendship Portraits: Chantal Joffe and Ishbel Myerscough

The self-portraits, portraits of each other, and of their children have been a consistent thread in the artists’ work and it is in these that, in Chantal Joffe’s words, the ‘ongoing echoes following the now through the past’ can be explored. Using each other as models, the artists attempt to search out what it feels like to be each other, and in turn, themselves. As the mothers of young children they have recorded their relationships with unsentimental images, and in their paintings of their daughters Bella and Esme the artists race to capture them before they become self-conscious.Their relationship, which is mainly conducted on the telephone, punctuates the solitude of days and nights in the studio. Alongside the single-mindedness and isolation of being an artist, and the multiple identities of being a partner and mother, their friendship provides a support system and mutual understanding of what it’s like to be an artist in the twenty-first century.


Duration 11 June 2015 - 28 September 2015
Times Open daily 10:00-18:00
Cost Free
Venue National Portrait Gallery
Address St Martin's Place London WC2H 0HE, ,
Contact 020 7306 0055 / /

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