Elly Clarke

[Katherine and Jonathan van der Werff at home in London, May 2010]

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The George Richmond Portrait Project, 2012

Photographic prints & audio. , Dimensions Variable, Duration Variable

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George Richmond Portrait Project, 2010-ongoing

I am tracing family portraits by Victorian Portraitist George Richmond RA to private homes (1809-1896) in order to photograph both the portraits and their current guardians (descendants of those portrayed) in situ, and to conduct audio interviews with them.

George Richmond was one of the most prolific artists of his generation, producing over 2,500 portraits during his lifetime, of which over 200 are in the National Portrait Gallery in London. His sitters include Charles Darwin, Edward VII, William Wilberforce, Elizabeth Fry and Charlotte Bronte. But most are still held within their private collections, often still owned by the same families that commissioned them in the 19th century. Sometimes these families are still living in the same houses.

I'm interested in the journey of the objects through time, through the generations. And in the role and place of the family portrait that is nearly five generations old as well as the stories that surround it - both as an object and in relation to the person portrayed.

George Richmond is my great great great grandfather.

Further information about this piece and the project in general, as well as links to clips of audio interviews made with my sitters may be found here: http://www.ellyclarkephotography.co.uk/ellyclarke/index.php?/photoandparticipatoryprojects/george-richmond-portrait-project/

Artworks by Elly Clarke

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