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Express yourself! Create your own isolation portrait

Hey arty-pants! If lockdown's brought out your creative side, share your self-portrait with the Devon Guild of Craftsmen's Isolation Portraits. It could land you in an art exhibition!

Portrait 104

One of the unexpected side effects of lockdown is how many of us have had to get to grips with technology, like Zoom and Skype. Overnight, we went from seeing friends and family in real life, to viewing their faces reduced to pixelated squares, while also trying not to look at the constant self-portrait in the corner of the screen *pass the paper bag*

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Unsettled and intrigued by how de-personalising this all is, a print-maker from The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Anita Reynolds, has come up with the idea of using art to put some personality back into what technology has taken away by creating a portrait of one of these faces from a square familiar to her.

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The idea has proved so popular, the Devon Guild has extended it to the public, inviting everyone, artist or scrawly doodler, young and old, to come up with their own portrait or to create a picture of who they’ve been spending their time with for an online exhibition, Isolation Portraits.

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More than 120 portraits have already been submitted, demonstrating a wide range of skills and use of media, from simple line drawings to ceramics, stained glass, tiles and textiles (and I’m sure that’s a dishcloth, above).

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What’s striking is how much emotion they convey, with some really quite sad ones, and their fascinating depictions of all the new things we’re getting used to, from wearing masks, to searching empty shelves at the supermarket, to wondering what the cat thinks about (or is that just me?)

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Fancy having a go at your own Mona Lisa – or maybe just looking for a novel way to lure the kids off screen?

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(Discombobulated, moi?) The deadline has been extended to 31 July so there is still time to send in your own portrait. If it’s a good ‘un it might get selected for display in the Bovey Tracey gallery, alongside the reputable Members Show in September.

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Failing that, just enjoy having a scroll through all the pics (some will give you a giggle) and get involved by voting for your favourite in the public vote.

Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Riverside Mill, Fore St, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot TQ13 9AF. Tel: 01626 832223. Open Weds, Thurs and Saturdays, 11am – 5pm.

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