BMAG (Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery) is one of my favourite gems of the city. An extraordinary place for art with some stunning pieces, and plenty to do for all the family. Next Saturday (16th July) will be a little extra special as the Portraits Untold project visits the Round Gallery.
Portraits Untold sees acclaimed award-winning disabled artist, Tanya Raabe-Webber, undertake four live portrait sittings with high profile sitters. The idea is that the sitting will fuse digital, traditional drawing and painting techniques in an interactive live environment, inviting audiences to take part in person and online.
At BMAG, Tanya will be painting John Akomfrah, a hugely respected artist and filmmaker, whose works investigate memory, postcolonialism and the African diaspora in Europe and the USA.
The sitting will take place in front of a live audience, who are encouraged to draw their own portraits of the sitter through traditional drawing and the use of digital drawing apps.
Drawing materials will be provided and audience members with mobile devices are encouraged to download free drawing apps before coming to the event.
The event, which will also be streamed live online, has been devised to reach new audiences through a variety of platforms to make art more accessible. Audiences, both live and watching online, will be able to send their digital and digitized drawings through to the artist on the day through social media.
Throughout the sitting, Tanya will fuse digital and traditional drawings, and versions of the audience’s drawings with her own to create a multi-layered portrait. The sitting will also involve a series of discussions about the lives of the two artists and their thoughts on diversity, which audiences will be able to take part in.
Portraits Untold will take place in the Round Gallery at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery across three two-hour sittings.
Tanya Raabe otherwise known as Tanya Raabe-Webber, was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, has been a practising Visual Artist, devising artworks exploring and challenging identity, a disabled self and the nude in contemporary Art since 1987. She gained a BA(HONS) in Graphic Design at Leeds Polytechnic, an MA in Communication Design at Manchester Metropolitan University and a PGCE in Higher Education from Huddersfield University. Tanya has exhibited as a solo artist and in group shows nationally including screening Who’s Who at National Portrait Gallery, Exhibitions at Holton Lee, Dorset, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, The Bluecoat, The A Foundation, Liverpool, Oriel Wrexham, Laing Gallery Newcastle since 1990.
John Akomfrah is a hugely respected artist and filmmaker, whose works are characterised by their investigations into memory, postcolonialism, temporality and aesthetics and often explore the experience of the African diaspora in Europe and the USA. Akomfrah was a founding member of the influential Black Audio Film Collective, which started in London in 1982 alongside the artists David Lawson and Lina Gopaul, who he still collaborates with today.