Monday, November 9, 2015


Portraiture is a staple genre in art. It has a long and rich history and we're very excited to have the opportunity to display contemporary portraiture alongside more traditional forms from our permanent collection. For example, we have some terrific digital photography from emerging talent Bronwyn Watson on the one hand and an oil painting by Australian portrait painter William Dargie from 1947 on the other. In the spirit of exploring just what portraiture can be, we are running a project through Instagram and inviting you to participate and share your own take on contemporary portraiture.

Robert Menzies' passport and cigar holder on display in Likeness

Social media has become a platform for manufacturing, playing with and sharing identity. From the selfie to the shelfie, from the braggie to the ‘what’s-in-your-purse’ photography we see on the internet, we want to explore ways in which we share our identity online. Inspired by the artists in Likeness, we want you to use your creativity to make your own photographic portrait on Instagram. You may wish to manipulate imagery of your face or body, or take a creative twist with the sort of images you choose. For example, the objects we use tell us a lot about our identity. We are fortunate to have a selection of personal items from Australia's longest serving Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, in our permanent collection. We have included them in Likeness as they represent a way of understanding an aspect of their owner.

Ilona Nelson, A Self Portrait, At Home (2015), photograph, (c) Courtesy of the artist

Another fine example of portraiture taken from a different perspective comes from one of our exhibiting artists - Ilona Nelson. Taken from her wonderful blog (which you can see here) this 'Self Portrait, At Home' uses a different object all together to make a statement about her identity. We would love for you to let your imaginations run wild and think about ways of expressing your identity through imagery.

Be original, be unique and be yourself. Keep an eye on the @townhallgallery Instagram account for examples and tag your own with #likenessthg and we’ll share the most interesting, most creatively unique interpretations of likeness.

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