I was so looking forward to watching the Grayson Perry series Who are You, but sadly it seems that I am unable to access that content from Canada. I was only able to watch this 3 minute introduction from the National Portrait Gallery’s Youtube feed, which doesn’t really offer any information that is not already mentioned in the course manual.
According to the course manual, Perry sets about getting to know his ten subject by interviewing them, visiting them and their communities to find out what makes them tick. This is all under the umbrella of research which is crucial to achieving a strong outcome in one’s work.
For this reflection point we are asked the following:
If you have a social media picture, write a paragraph describing the ‘you’ it portrays. What aspects of yourself remain hidden?
For this exercise I am going to use one of my past social media photos. It was taken on a day when the whole family went ski-dooing for the first time. We had to wear full face helmets and goggles for some or other reason I found this terribly claustrophobic. I also struggled to breathe with the goggles as the padding felt as if it was constricting my sinuses. This photo definitely does not show my personality at all. I mean I look more like Darth Vader for goodness sake! Only my eyes are visible and portion of my frozen nose. What this photo probably does convey is the hidden trepidation I was feeling on this whole outing.
If you were to construct a more ‘accurate’ portrait of yourself, including various aspects of who you are, what would you choose to include? How might you visualise these things?
Try creating a new, more honest, self-portrait.
I am a very friendly person, for the most part a little introverted, but when the mood strikes me I can be rather extroverted. Obviously I would choose to open up my facial features so that my personality comes more to the fore. I’ve often referred to myself as being a WYSIWYG gal – what you see is what you get. I am not pretentious. I have unruly curly hair, which at my age I have given up on – it must do its own thing. I believe the eyes are key to expressing personality and my visualisation would take place around those areas. But there is that word again – self-portrait. Really difficult to take a decent photo of oneself I always feel. Here is one I took just recently, after a trip to the hairdresser.
Grayson Perry: Who Are You? [vidcast, online] National Portrait Gallery 13/11/2014. 3 mins 30 secs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oym9gw_u_L8 (accessed 23 April, 2016)