More in Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass

Mercer Chance Gallery

1 March - 11 March

The self-portrait is not merely a convenient practice subject, or an exercise in narcissism, for by confronting ones own image, the painter confronts an issue at the very heart of representation: the balance between observation and invention.
Even a supposedly ‘straight-forward’ or ‘truthful’ observational self-portrait reveals much about its maker through a myriad of small – often unconscious – choices made during the process.
Other artists may choose to acknowledge the fictional aspect of representing the self – that identity is a performance – and yet we can never be sure of what is a mask, and what is ‘real’.

Shakespeare posed this question through the voice of two characters:

“There’s no art, to find the mind’s construction in the face”

“False face must hide what the false heart doth know”

Who do you side with, the benevolent, trusting Duncan, or the scheming Macbeth, who knows the suspect nature of appearances? Perhaps both are right: appearances can be deceptive, but even a seasoned deceiver reveals more than they know.

In this exhibition, we present self-portraits by 13 contemporary artists, including paintings, drawings and multimedia works.


Mercer Chance Gallery

253 Hoxton Street, N1 5LG

Opening time:

11-6pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday

First Thursdays Evenings: 7 -10 pm

Getting to: Mercer Chance Gallery

Gallery located at north end of Hoxton Street adjacent to Nuttall Street.

By Bus- St Leonards Hospital, Kingsland Road bus stop, then a 3 minute walk via Nuttall Street.

By Tube – From Hoxton Overground station join Kingsland road and head north, turn left onto Nuttall Street which meets Hoxton Street.

Buses: 243, 242, 67, 394.

Nearest Overground: Hoxton

Mercer Chance Gallery 2

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