Self Portraiture, Personal Narratives and Selfies

The Story of the Eye, 2014

The Story of the Eye, 2014Watercolour, gouache on paper, 24 x 30 cm



An exclusive Drawing Room Network event at Courtauld Institute of Art, including a private tour of exhibition Jonathan Richardson by Himself and an in-conversation between curator Roger Malbert and artist Emma Talbot.

At 5 pm curator Susan Owens will lead a private tour of Jonathan Richardson by Himself, an exhibition at the Courtauld Drawings Gallery. Jonathan Richardson the Elder (1667–1745) was one of the most influential figures in the visual arts of 18th-century England, a theorist, poet, and art collector, who created a remarkable series of self-portrait drawings towards the end of his life.

At 6 pm there will be an in-conversation between curator Roger Malbert and artist Emma Talbot. Malbert and Talbot will discuss drawing's relationship to ideas of 'the self' and 'personal lives', and ideas of self-portraiture explored in Malbert’s recent book Drawing People: The Human Figure in Contemporary ArtDrawing People is an anthology of more than seventy contemporary artists, including Talbot, for whom drawing is a primary activity, and whose main focus is the human subject. The artists include an international, cross-generational roster examined in chapters focused on subjects including the body, self, personal lives, social reality and fictions.

Emma Talbot uses painting and drawing as vehicles for exploring narrative ideas. Talbot's works usually contains a series of cell-like spaces in which different events are depicted. These events are based on personal experiences, family history and narrative fictions. Scenarios from different times in history and from different places can be seen alongside one another. This allows a visual linking of events and thoughts, not bound by chronology, which gets closer to the way memories are retained and retold. The work investigates the psychological import of memory and desire. It reveals internal thought and pieces together fact, fiction and false memories to build non-linear narratives. The directness of drawing is very important to the work and grants an immediacy and lightness to the image making.

– Roger Malbert is Head of Hayward Touring, at the Hayward Gallery, London. He has been a judge for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, and his writing on art has featured in The Independent, Art Monthly, Times Literary Supplement, The Art Newspaper and Modern Painters

– Dr Susan Owens is a writer, art historian and freelance curator with a particular interest in British drawings and watercolours. She curated the current exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery, Jonathan Richardson by Himself and contributed an essay to the catalogue accompanying Great British Drawings, currently at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Her book The Art of Drawing: British Masters and Methods Since 1600 (V&A) was published in 2013.

– Emma Talbot lives and works in London. She is a Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. Recent solo exhibitions include You Would Cry Too If It Happened To You, Kusseneers Gallery, Antwerp (2011), Picures from My Heart, Transition Gallery, London (2010). Selected group exhibitions include Drawing Now, Carousel Louvre, Paris (2013), The Life of the Mind, New Art Gallery, Walsall (2011), TOLD, Hales Gallery, London (2011), Me and My Shadow, Kate MacGarry, London (2011).

This event is limited capacity and exclusively for Network Members