Karen Allerton arts
Art of Identity Project - Manchester Museum
The Art of Identity Project focuses on the Portrait Gallery. The Egyptian mummy portraits are probably one of the earliest realistic depictions of the human face and are an idealistic representation of the dead person. The painting of burial portraits was a Roman practice that was adopted by the Egyptians.
I worked closely with Wardle Academy to create a series of temporary artworks for the reception area at the museum.
Students were encouraged to look at how multicultural societies have existed throughout time and to consider the notion of identity and how we as individuals express ourselves today.
An Enrichment Day at the museum gave pupils the experience of a range of different activities, from handling objects and group discussions through to art based sessions.
I ran 4 x 45 minute arts based sessions where we created 3d portraits out of "chatterboxes" covered with the segments of some of the Egyptian portraits. The outside of the chatterboxes held a distorted version of the portraits whilst the space inside was used to describe the person who had made it.
This was a tricky exercise and tight timescale but the results are really distinctive, even the ones that aren't quite as they should be.
In a follow on session at Wardle Academy, I worked with over 200 pupils in 2 days to create faces made up of photographs of the majority of pupils in the year group. It was a fast paced, full on couple of days that was a lot of fun and gave some stunning results.