Portraits of the spirit

Detail: 'Jockey' by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at Wellington City Gallery. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: ‘Jockey’ by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at Wellington City Gallery. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

A gallery of clay figures; posed, painted, dressed. All different, but at the same time strikingly similar. One face in many disguises?

This gallery of characters forms part of the exhibition Jealous Saboteurs — a survey of work by Francis Upritchard, a New Zealand-born, London-based artist. They are clever and whimiscal — drawing on motifs and imagery from many sources.

Detail: 'Mandrake', by Francis Upritchard, Jealous Saboteurs exhibition at the City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: ‘Mandrake’, by Francis Upritchard, Jealous Saboteurs exhibition at the City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

In sculptures of the human form, the eyes are almost always blank — there is no discernible pupil or iris to give us the visual cues we draw from living people. So if eyes are “the window to the soul” — how do we read statues?

Detail: 'Potato Seller' by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: ‘Potato Seller’ by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Without the clues provided by body and clothing, what can we say about these figures, who all seem to share the same facial features. Can we discern, or perhaps imagine, emotions? Is it possible to create meaningful portraits of a statue? I’m interested in your views.

Detail: (name unknown) by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: (name unknown) by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: 'Yellow and Black Gown' by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: ‘Yellow and Black Gown’ by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally.

The title is from Robert Louis Stevenson, who said:

It is not likely that posterity will fall in love with us, but not impossible that it may respect or sympathize; so a man would rather leave behind him the portrait of his spirit than a portrait of his face. — Robert Louis Stevenson

 

 

 

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Quest for improvement

Sourdough foccacia with rosemary and olive oil. Image: Su Leslie, 2016


A year or so ago the Big T and I created a sourdough starter: flour, water and whatever bacteria and yeasts inhabit our kitchen. We feed it, keep it warm and sniff it a lot to check its health. We also bake bread: mainly wholewheat, but sometimes fruit bread or foccacia.

Over the year our bread has got better but there is always room for improvement in our quest for the perfect loaf.

Proved dough ready for toppings and baking. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Lunch: greek salad with homemade sourdough foccacia. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The last morsel. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

 

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge theme is Quest.

Institute for the study of sea and sky

Trees silhouetted against golden sky at sunset. Hobsonville Point, Auckland.Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Sunset, Hobsonville Point, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Not totally sure why, but music and image just seem to go together tonight.

The title comes from a line in the 1983 film Local Hero, written and directed by Bill Forsyth. Mark Knopfler wrote and performed the soundtrack music.